Des Moines, Iowa – RadioIowa – The one good thing about the Iowa weather this time of year is you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes. Information just released by Iowa State University’s mosquito surveillance program found mosquito activity was particularly high this year. I-S-U entomologist Ryan Smith says one thing they didn’t find in trapping nearly 176-thousand mosquitoes were any concerns about the Zika virus.
The two types of mosquitoes that carry zika have been found in Missouri and Illinois, and I-S-U did some more trapping in southern Iowa this year.
The bigger concern is that the I-S-U medical entomology lab collected 46 “pools” of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus in 2016, an increase from the 17 pools that tested positive in 2015.
Smith says the weather conditions were part of the increase in West Nile mosquitoes.
Smith says having rain isn’t that important for the West Nile variety of mosquitoes to survive.
Smith says the I-S-U surveillance found that overall mosquito activity peaked unusually early in 2016 as populations reached their highest levels in late May, likely due to wet conditions in April. Back to the mosquitoes that carry Zika — he says they continue to move.
But, he says even if those mosquitoes make it here, that doesn’t mean they would pose an immediate Zika threat.
Smith says people in Iowa are better off worrying about West Nile and taking steps to keep from being bitten when the mosquito season rolls back around again in the spring.
The final report on the laboratory’s 2016 mosquito surveillance is available by clicking here.