(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— Heavy rain and recent flooding have left behind standing water throughout northwest Missouri and health experts said it's the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"It takes barely any water for mosquitoes to lay a nest," said Connie Werner from St. Joseph Health Department. "In general without and natural disaster, standing water is always a concern with mosquitoes because they love to breed there."
Over the last week, St. Joseph has received over four to six inches of rain and flood waters are starting to recede after closing roads and flooding homes and farmlands.
"So where you used to have 'x' places for mosquitoes to breed you now have to double, triple, or quadruple that so now that increases the mosquito population," said Werner.
A mosquito bite can be irritating, itchy, and at some point, if the skin is still broken after scratching, can become irritated. In some areas, mosquitoes carry diseases, like Yellow Fever, Malaria, and Zika Virus.
"Luckily in our area, mosquito bites don't currently carry harmful diseases, but the more mosquitoes there are the more health risks there can be from mosquitoes," said Werner.
"The important thing to know is to is that to prevent mosquito bites you need to prevent mosquitoes," said Werner.
Knocking over planters, pots, empty containers, storm drains and anything that collects water prevents mosquitoes from breeding or reaching the adult stage.
"You have to be so vigilant, you can't just do it at the beginning of spring, the mosquitoes will just laugh and keep on going, you have to constantly check," said Werner. "Don't make it easy for mosquitoes to multiply around your home and family.
According to the U.S. Department of Conservation, there are around 3,500 different species of mosquito.
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