Testing slow due to lack of mosquitoes

by Carol Thompson

Mother Nature has interfered with the progress of the mosquito marking program that Oswego County undertook this year to assist in tracking the movement of the vector.

Evan Walsh, who serves as the associate public health sanitarian, said that the county is not catching as many mosquitoes as expected because there just aren’t many out there.

“Instead of catching thousands, we are barely over 100 for a lot of our trapping days,” he said. “That’s the risk of the research project. You’re at the hands of Mother Nature.”

Walsh said that the unusually dry weather limited the number of mosquitoes that can be marked. He noted that heat also stresses mosquitoes and kills them.

One marked mosquito was trapped and it was found about a mile away.

The program was initiated to learn how far disease-carrying vectors travel. Mosquitoes aren’t on the move too much this year, Walsh said, as the dry weather doesn’t provide much incentive for travel.

“They need to stick close to water,” Walsh said. He added that the lack of straight-line winds has contributed to the lack of travel. Mosquitoes can be carried a distance by the wind.

The dry weather has also caused a lack in breeding. Walsh said that normally there are two or three breeding and the department is not seeing the second and third brood.

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