An entomologist with the Shelby County Health Department had nothing but good news in this month’s mosquito report for residents in Bartlett’s Sungate community.
The community’s three ponds were sampled for mosquito larvae. Out of more than 100 samples, the entomologist and the larvicide supervisor found only two larvae.
“The two mosquitoes we did find are not a threat to people in any way,” said Ture Carlson, entomologist with the health department’s vector control division.
Carlson explained that 48 mosquito species are found in Shelby County, and the species found at Sungate was Culex territans, or the Northern frog-biting mosquito. It only takes blood from amphibians such as frogs and toads, and it doesn’t bite people.
“Finding this mosquito makes sense because there is a lot of frogs around those ponds,” Carlson said. “We did find small top feeding minnows in two of the ponds, which is also a good sign.”
The entomologist promised to recheck the ponds again in about a month. One concern for mosquito larva control is if the water levels drop during dry periods.
The Division of Vector Control begins its seasonal surveillance of mosquitoes in mid-March or early April to determine the types and prevalence of mosquitoes in each area. This shapes the plans for where to spray.
Mosquito trivia: The mosquito that carries West Nile virus bites at night. The one that carries the Zika virus bites during the day.