Mosquitoes gain attention of U.S. Senator Schumer
FINGER LAKES--According to the office of New York Senator Charles Schumer, the long-held local suspicion that this has been one of the worst mosquito seasons in memory might in fact be accurate. Needing only a bottle cap full of water to complete their life cycle, mosquitoes have been busy taking advantage of the region's hot and wet summer.
"Ask any outdoor diner about the mosquitoes this summer, and you'll feel a resounding itch...This is actually one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory with a record number of the bugs plaguing communities across New York, from the city, to Buffalo and all throughout New York state," said Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator from New York.
While bites can be annoying and irritating depending on a person's level of allergic reaction, mosquitoes also can carry diseases that have plagued humans throughout history. While there have been no reported instances of malaria in New York, eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, Zika and dog heartworm have been reported. Mosquito bites can also become infected with cellulitis, a subnormal staph infection that can lead to hospitalization.
"Even more concerning, pools of the potentially-deadly mosquito-borne disease, West Nile Virus, continue to grow, and this could last well into fall because of a very wet summer and climate change," Schumer said. "So, today, we are pushing a two-pronged plan involving the EPA and the CDC so that our area has the dollars and the resources to beat back the mosquito and its diseases before they spread."
To help combat the issue, Schumer said he has officially requested a 61 percent increase in annual funding for the Center for Disease Control's Vector-Borne Diseases programs.
The most common mosquito in New York is the common house mosquito. Described by Cornell University as "persistent biters" they feed at dusk, night and dawn. Despite their noted preference for birds, they often make their way into homes.
To help combat the often painful little bloodsuckers, Cornell University recommends keeping an eye on minimizing all standing water on your property.
According to an article distributed by Cornell University, "(Common house mosquitoes) usually stay within 300 feet from its breeding site, so ensuring there are no breeding sites on your property can go a long way in protecting you and yours. These mosquitoes aren't picky about where they lay eggs."
Landscaping can also have a key impact in the battle to stay bug-free, as vertical walled ponds well stocked with goldfish and gambusia minnows can become self-perpetuating mosquitoes traps.
Beyond the construction of intentional ponds, eliminating any standing water is key to keeping mosquitoes out of your house, so ensuring things like old tires, empty plant pots, gutters, or consistent puddles are clear goes a long way.
Clogged gutters are an especially fertile breeding ground, and it is recommended to have them cleaned out. To help keep them out of the house it is also recommended that screens are kept in good conditions and any noticeable gaps in window frames be covered.
On an individual level, it is recommended to wear long, loose-fitting clothing at night and use insect repellents according to their directions.