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Mosquitos Swarming Pastures After Heavy Rains

Mosquitos Swarming Pastures After Heavy Rains

Standing water in pastures hearld the beginning of mosquito season for livestock.

Standing water in pastures herald the beginning of mosquito season for livestock.

Weeks of consistent above normal rains have filled farm ponds, ditches, swamps and anything else which will hold water.  While this is a positive trend for the water table and minimized, if not eliminates, the need for irrigation, there is a down side. The mosquito population is multiplying rapidly along with the potential for disease outbreaks.  Of particular concern are “floodwater mosquitoes” which populate pastures in puddles and pools of standing water. These mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist soil and will tolerate, and in many cases, require the inevitable dry-out after the wet period.

The most notable of these floodwater mosquitoes is the Aedes genus which contains at least ten species. The term Aedes has its origins in Greek, meaning unpleasant.  Aedes atlanticus is commonly found in pastures. It is a participant in the transmission of heart worms in dogs, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses.  Heavy blood loss may also result from excessive exposure to swarms of mosquitos. The consequences of the painful bites will be thriftiness, weight loss, and decrease milk production.

Wipes, sprays and fogs can offer temporary relief. The most effective control method available is source reduction by removing or draining mosquito breeding sites.  Hopefully drier days with plentiful sunshine will reduce the population.  For more information   read: External Parasites on Beef Cattle, or contact your local UF/IFAS Agricultural Extension Agent.

 

PG

Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director. He began his work in the Northwest Extension District as the Sustainable Agriculture and Extension Technology Agent in Leon County on August 25, 2006. His career in agriculture extends back over thirty five years and includes work in business, government and academic positions. Prior to working with the Extension Service, he spent 16 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the Division of Marketing and Development. He worked in four of the division’s six bureaus. He has also managed farm supply cooperatives in Alabama and Virginia with annual sales over four million dollars, worked for an international grain company, and was a research associate for Auburn University’s Agricultural Economics Department. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. He is the author of over 400 publications and has written professionally for print and broadcast media.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/08/10/mosquitos-swarming-pastures-after-heavy-rains/