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Rain affects mosquitoes, farms

Caitlin Rickard • Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

The recent increase in the amount of rainfall seems to have brought out a familiar foe in Wilson County.

Anyone who steps outside can immediately be met with swarms of the pests followed by an itch and a bite.

According to University of Tennessee entomology professor Frank Hale, it seems mosquitoes have been coming in larger quantities this year.

“When you have a lot of rain, you’re going to have mosquitoes. They can breed in something as small as a cup of water,” Hale said. “Mosquitoes need water to go through the life cycle and they lay eggs in the water. As the water comes the eggs hatch and then their larva are aquatic, too.”

Hale has said that the above average amount of rainfall in the spring and summer also attributes to the perfect conditioning for mosquitoes.

“This has definitely been a mosquito year,” Hale said. “The more rain has equaled more standing water and that’s exactly what mosquitoes use to reproduce.”

Warmer temperatures are also a contributing factor in the number of mosquitoes present in a given area. Hale said the warmer it is, the faster the bugs will go through their life cycle, and can breed in larger numbers.

Hale also said, though there are no cases, the West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in the Nashville area.

“With the increase in rain that leads to the increase in mosquitoes, that also will lead to more chances of mosquitoes that carry diseases,” Hale said.

Hale said, in being cautious, be sure to wear repellant and possibly long sleeves when outdoors when mosquitoes are most prominent at dusk.

As far as farming goes, Agricultural Extension Agent Ruth Correll said that farmers, for the most part, have fared pretty well with the increase in rain.

“The amount of rain we’ve received has helped the corn and soybean crops in the area,” Correll said.

Correll said the one crop that has been met with problems has been tobacco.

“The rain is hard on tobacco production because it’s not very fond of wet seeds, but everything is fine and we’re looking good there now,” Correll said.

Correll said the farmers seeing the real problems though have been the hay producers.

“They’ve had the most issues with the rain so far because rain is not good for hay,” Correll said.

As of now, the weather has cleared up in the county so residents should keep their fingers crossed for the mosquitoes to do the same.

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