Rains Hamper Efforts To Control Mosquito Population

By Eric Flack

(LOUISVILLE, June 22nd, 2004, 12:05 p.m.) -- If you've been getting eaten alive by bugs lately, you're not alone. Mosquitos and a host of other critters have been swarming into Kentuckiana lately, and the cause of the problem is also hindering the health department's solution. WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack reports.

If you're going to be outside this summer, it's a good idea to wear insect repellant because the city's bug problem, which is always bad in the summer, might only be getting worse. And right now there's little the health department can do to stop it.

That was evident Monday night at Dave Schardein's house in Prospect. It didn't take long to get a feel for the problem, with a number of mosquitos landing on both of us as we stood outside his home. "You put on mosquito repellant and long clothing and even then they'll come after you."

Of course, mosquitos and other pests aren't just a problem in Schardein's neighborhood, as Dave Langdon with the Kentucky Health Department well knows. "The mosquito count we've been getting in our traps, we've just been getting thousands of mosquitos in our traps."

The situation is so bad the health department decided to start its spraying three weeks ahead of schedule, but there has been a lot of wet weather lately. And the rain that has been making the bugs come is keeping the health department away.

"We can't spray during times when it's raining," Langdon said.

Health department officials and exterminators like Travis Hardin with ALLPEST Pest Control say that the wet weather means more than just an increased mosquito population. "The ants are keeping us extremely busy," Travis said. "Pill bugs and water bugs -- it's pushing all the bugs out of the ground -- had some rats even coming out of the sewer system because the sewer system's so full of water."

Experts say the flood of critters wont stop until the rains do. The health department planned to start begin spraying areas for mosquitos Tuesday in the Minor Lane Heights and Prospect areas -- weather permitting.

Many people are trying to fight mosquitos themselves with the wide array of mosquito repellent devices out there now.

If other bugs are your problem, an exterminator may by your best bet, but they are pretty busy right now.

Online Reporter: Eric Flack

Online Producer: Michael Dever