Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mosquito Invasion

I don't live anywhere near Locustville, Va. but I can tell you that this is the honest truth about the mosquitoes in Virginia!  You can't go outside at anytime of the day or night.  There is just no outside activity at all - unless you are one of those lucky persons that mosquitoes don't care for.

  Personally, I don't think rain makes a bit of difference.  Neither does tall grass or heat!  There is no standing water and I don't want to deter them with a Bounty sheet or spray myself with OFF.  I just want them DEAD! 

Frankly, I think there are so many of them that the bats, purple martins, etc. are all SICK of eating mosquitoes.

Ms. Hillman- you have my sympathy!

LOCUSTVILLE -- Marilyn Hillman has to prepare herself for battle before she steps into her back yard.

The enemies are small but ferocious. Hillman is suiting herself up to fight mosquitoes.

"I have to wear a lot of clothes," she said. "I cover from neck to ankle to wrist."

A lot of rain during hot weather has had many on the Eastern Shore swatting mosquitos in recent weeks.

As of Wednesday, some parts of Accomack County had received 9.7 inches of rain in just 12 days, according to Tommy Custis, farm manager at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter.

That amount of rain is normal for a period of three months.

Tuesday night alone, 1.71 inches of rain fell at the experiment station -- and one inch of that was received over a period of 20 minutes.

Nobody was complaining about the rainfall after dry local conditions.

"The rain is good," said Custis. "If we could space it out, it would be better."

But that high volume of rain created an ideal environment for mosquitos.

"The rain wakes them up," said Tom Kuhar, the entomologist at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

He said last weeks heavy rain caused eggs to hatch and that the warm weather lead to mosquito growth.

"Whenever we have standing water, we get an increase in mosquitoes," he said.

Residents like Hillman have tried to do their best to ward them off. One of the best ways to do this is with a mosquito repellent, although wearing as much clothing as possible helps as well.

For those opposed to using insect repellent, most people say putting a dryer sheet in a pocket can help deter the insects.

Humans aren't the only one effected by the surge in mosquitoes. Animals are also affected. Horses suffer the worst from bites.

"Mosquitos aren't a huge threat for household pets. Horses are different; they can be effected by West Nile," said Jack Hiler, a veterinarian who lives Belle Haven.

Household pets are unlikely to become ill due to mosquito bites but they still feel the sting. Pet owners can apply topical creams such as Advantix to their pets in order to keep away the pests.

Hillman is certainly being affected by the insects. As part of her daily routine, she tries to empty out any containers in her yard that have standing water in them.

However, on a recent morning, she was overwhelmed.

"I couldn't stand it outside this morning," she said. "You can't take a walk, you can't sit on the porch. You walk outside and you are inundated by more mosquitos than I've seen in my life."

Source;|newswell|text|Eastern Shore News|s

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