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Mississippi Flood Creates Ideal Condititons For Bugs

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 14 Jun 2011 08:45am | comments
Rolling Fork Supervisor John Williams shows off a new bug fogging machine.

The record flood along the Mississippi River has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes and other bugs to breed and flourish across the soggy delta. The bugs are more than just a nuisance, the can also carry disease. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on the efforts of some in the delta to fight the swarms of pests.

Large standing pools of water left by the flood and the recent steamy heat create the perfect breeding ground for all types of insects and bacteria says University of Mississippi Scientist Ikhas Khan.

"That’s where they lay their eggs. And that is where they hide and colonize. And the more standing water there is, not only for mosquitoes but for other bugs, it provides them ideal conditions for breed and protection. That is what they need," Khan said.

The swarms of insects create a potential health hazard because sometimes they carry disease. At least one case of West Nile Virus has already been confirmed by the state health department.

Rolling Fork Mayor James Denson says the flood has brought an unprecedented amount of bugs to his small delta town.

"They are very pesty. They are in large quantities and they look like they are in bunches. They are piled up in different locals and stuff like that and you just walk into them," Denson said.

After complaints from residents, the city bought a new pesticide spreading machine to spray the city.

Rolling Fork Superintendent John Williams shows off the new machine...which resembles a generator hooked up to tank holding pesticides. It sprays insect fighting chemicals around the city from the back of a slow moving truck.

Rolling Fork resident Robert Wray says the biting insects are all over town and impossible to avoid.

"They leave a little bump or something on you. They don't really bother you or nothing like that. A friend of mine says one got in his eye and messed his eye up. Maybe gave him pink eye or something," Wray said.

Even with the anti-bug spraying, the insects will continue to breed and are impossible to eliminate.

That makes bug spray, draining standing water around your home, and avoiding active mosquito times key to protecting your health.

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Rolling Fork Supervisor John Williams shows off a new bug fogging machine.


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