DES MOINES, Iowa – What do you get when you add flooding to mosquito season? You get conditions only an entomologist could love.
“We have the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes to come in and lay their eggs,” said Iowa State entomologist, Lyric Bartholomay.
The thing is, this had been a relatively mosquito-free summer, thanks to a dry fall and a cool spring.
“It’s taken a little bit longer for them to get to the point where they match up with what we saw last year,” she said, “which was a good mosquito year—for me, not for you!”
Bartholomay might study bugs for a living, but she isn’t laughing about viruses like West Nile and encephalitis–both carried by some of the 55 species of mosquitoes in Iowa. Buy repellent and use it, she warns.
“In particular, the most effective is probably deet. So any repellent that has a certain percentage of deet in it is valuable to use.”
Stores like Bass Pro Shops are rushing to meet demand.
“These are a couple of products that have the deet in it, we have the Repel 100 and the Max-Deet, they’re both about the same percent of that ingredient,” said Todd Godfrey, manager of the Altoona location.
Deet percentage runs from 10-98%. All should be washed off as soon as you come inside.
Then, continue the fight by ridding your yard of mosquito breeding grounds.
“A child’s toy in the backyard or in a birdbath, anywhere there’s standing water,” Bartholomay said.
You knew they’d be here eventually, so unless you’re one of the few who like them, prepare to be bugged.