Mosquito problem could surge in aftermath of flooding

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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - Mold and contaminated water aren't the only health threats after flooding. A tiny bug could be a big nuisance.

Carl Pender, a resident of flood-ravaged Paradise Lakes, said, “If we are having floods and there is lots of water around there are chances that mosquito population will go up.”

Pender said before the flood, Paradise Lakes already had a mosquito population.

“They were bad enough that if you go out outside for a while you'd get them.”

Now everything residents are taking out of their condemned homes and leaving on the curb is creating a perfect breeding environment says entomologist Jonathan Larson.

“They will put their eggs in those spots and when the fill up with water they will hatch out.”

Look down a street in Paradise Lakes and the places for mosquitoes to lay eggs is endless. Trash cans, pots, even abandoned toilets.

Pender says on the bright side - at least he won't have to put up with the bugs.

“They'd congregate towards us and we'd move. A few minutes later they would congregate near us again so it was a constant battle in the morning.”

The best way to curb a mosquito population is by emptying containers weekly. But with the mobile homes abandoned and no demolition date set that chore won't be done.

Larson said, “If things don't get cleaned up in time and that water is still there at some point in the middle of this summer those mosquitoes will find it and they will use it.”

Larson said he's received calls about mosquitoes already this year but we won't see them in full force until late May.

He says if you have to be in an area that potentially has a lot of mosquitoes, put you're safety first and wear repellents.

Larson also told us the types of mosquitoes that lay eggs in tires and containers are the ones that carry West Nile Virus.