When the Fourth of July rolls around, so do mosquitoes. That's why the city is kicking off its annual spraying effort in the city's most-popular parks today. How bad will mosquitoes get? After all, we had a fairly wet, warm spring.
When the Fourth of July rolls around, so do mosquitoes. That’s why the city is kicking off its annual spraying effort in the city’s most-popular parks today.
How bad will mosquitoes get? After all, we had a fairly wet, warm spring.
“They’re about to go gangbusters,” according to David Denlinger, an Ohio State University entomologist and mosquito expert.
Most Columbus residents will be asleep when city spray trucks roll through 25 city parks between 4 and 6 a.m. today, and 20 more parks on Wednesday.
City officials picked the parks that they figure will be the busiest during the Fourth of July weekend, said Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health. “It’s really for the convenience of the residents,” he said.
Columbus Public Health will begin making weekly assessments through September for spraying in neighborhoods.
The city takes mosquitoes seriously because West Nile virus has popped up sporadically each year since 2002.
The mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus and La Crosse encephalitis are still on the way and might benefit from leftover stagnant water in catch basins, backyard containers and the like. Culex and Aedes triseriatus, or treehole mosquitoes, are of prime concern in Ohio.
Last year, a warm, wet spring led to mosquitoes hatching earlier than usual. In warm pools of water, mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in a week to 10 days.
Ohio had 121 reported cases of West Nile virus last year; that was the most since 2002. Seven deaths in the state were blamed on the virus last year. In 2011, Ohio had 21 cases among humans and one death.
What will this year look like? Probably not as extreme as last year, officials have said.
“But my guess is, yes, the mosquito that carries West Nile is abundant this year,” Denlinger said.