Water levels rise as do predators of mosquitoes
You may remember the two recent downpours that caused major flooding and major headaches, for some New Hanover County residents, but there may be a silver lining…the added water may decrease the population of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are a major pain.
“I don’t really care for them much at all. They’re annoying little things. They bite me and I itch,” said Jonathan Hardister who hates mosquitoes.
Youngster Kady Becker agrees. “I don’t like them. They eat me up all the time.”
But for others, they’re a meal.
“Here are the back swimmers here and they love mosquito larvae for lunch,” explained Andy Wood, the education director for the Audubon Society.
Dragonflies, and various other water bugs also feast on the pest. They live and thrive in more developed ecosystems that require lots of water.
Last year’s drought threatened the populations of ‘skeeter eating bugs.
“We entered 2009 over two feet behind in rainwater, so many of our ponds are low in water. They have enough water to support mosquitoes but not predators,” Wood said.
While we’re currently about average for rainfall this year, two recent downpours caused ground water to rise, providing prime breeding ground for mosquito predators.
“Big rain events can be very helpful because it adds enough water to our smaller ponds like backswimmers, dragonflies and other insects that eat mosquito larvae,” Wood said.
So mosquito populations may actually drop as we enter August, which is normally prime mosquito breeding and itching season.
Andy Wood also says before spraying pesticides to get rid of bugs. It is always a good idea to get rid of standing water since that’s where mosquitoes thrive.
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