Mosquito Numbers Expected to Rise in Nebraska Because of Flooding

by Will Bauer, NET News

June 3, 2019, 4:52 p.m.

The return of summer means the return of mosquitoes, ticks and other potentially harmful bugs.

Spring flooding across Nebraska and the Midwest will only make the mosquitoes worse this summer.

Ted Burk, Creighton biology professor, said mosquitoes breed in small pools of water, so standing flood or rain water makes for great breeding grounds. Burk said eliminating those small pools will greatly reduce the risk of West Nile and other illnesses. However, people should take other precautions.

“It’s kind of a pain in the neck to wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts when you’re going outside in the summer," Burk said. "It’s kind of a pain in the neck to spray yourself down with insect repellant. So, it’s kind of understandable that people just kind of have a natural laziness about doing those kinds of things, but some of these things are really quite serious.”

Nebraska had 245 cases of West Nile in 2018, the most of any state, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Burk also said ticks that carry Lyme Disease are not common in Nebraska, but people should still be cautious.