Phippen and her team use a backpack blower to treat the areas by hand but she states a key part of mosquito control is the water levels.
“As the water rises, the eggs that are laid in the soil up to 30 years ago become wet and when those eggs get wet, the mosquito larvae emerge immediately into the water and start to develop,” Phippen adds.
Phippen says there are few mosquito larvae at this time of the year and with dry heat, the mosquito population will significantly drop.
“The only thing that is going to kill those [adult mosquitoes] at this point, is some prolonged hot weather. We noticed up the North Thompson, people are starting to hay, finally. They’re about three weeks behind in their haying. Taking down that hay in those nice, cool shady spots where the adults like to hang out but when they start to get exposed to the sun. That’s what’s going to knock them back by the time August comes.”
While people think of mosquitoes as the evil bugs they appear to be, Phippen says some kinds of mosquitoes are actually good for the environment.
“Only females bite. They require the blood meal — that extra protein to develop their batch of eggs. Males are actually pollinators; they’re a beneficial insect. We get asked a lot, ‘What good are mosquitos anyways?’ They’re good as food in the adult and aquatic stage and the males are pollinators of grasses.”
Although the mosquito population may be lower right now, Phippen reminds people to use bug spray that contains Deet to prevent mosquito bites.