“Aggressive biter” mosquito species plagues Quad Cities

Published: Sep. 26, 2018 at 3:52 PM CDT
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If you live in the Quad Cities Area, you may well be scratching annoying bug bites even as you read this.

Mosquitoes are making going outdoors miserable right now, especially during late afternoon and dusk.

“They are significantly worse this year than last year,” said Ryder Houck, president of mosquito treatment company Mosquito Joe of the Quad Cities.

Houck says QC rainfall combined with unseasonably warm temperatures in the past two weeks have created the perfect breeding conditions for an insect that can lay 300 eggs in only a bottle cap full of water.

“There is a definite increase in the number of nuisance mosquitoes,” said Western Illinois University Biological Sciences Instructor Jason Hunt.

Hunt has spent most of the past summer collecting area mosquitoes to test for West Nile virus.

He says while the current wave of blood-suckers does not pose a disease threat, the particular types of mosquitoes attacking exposed skin right now do “tend to be aggressive biters.”

Houck advises to avoid the outdoors at dusk, if possible, and use bug spray with DEET if you do venture out.

He also says you can reduce the problem at your home by being careful to eliminate all standing water on your property.

Even though temperatures have cooled dramatically this week, they have not yet cooled enough to kill off mosquitoes.

“We do not expect the problem to diminish until our first frost, which is typically mid-October,” said Houck.

“Until then, with kids participating in fall sports and families enjoying the outdoors for as long as possible, the threat is very real.”