Below is the summary of recent mosquito activity in Iowa from the ISU Medical Entomology Laboratory. Mosquito surveillance in Iowa has been ongoing since 1969 and provides public health officials and the general public with information about mosquito populations and the potential for those mosquitoes to transmit disease pathogens. The mosquito surveillance program data can be viewed online at the ISU Medical Entomology website.
As we predicted last week, mosquito samples from around Iowa were teeming with the nuisance mosquito Aedes vexans. In fact, we received a sample from Ewing Park in Des Moines that probably contains more mosquitoes than any other New Jersey light trap sample that we have received in the past 10 years. An early rough estimate of the number of mosquitoes in just that one sample is 10,000.
The general trend for all sites in the past week was that weekend collections were fierce, and as the week proceeded, mosquito counts declined. That, combined with collections here in Ames and Des Moines this week, indicate that we may actually be experiencing a slight bit of a reprieve from mosquitoes right now. We'll see next week! We don't want to count our mosquitoes before they're hatched. Literally.
Even if we have a little bit of breathing room from mosquitoes right now, the last few rainfalls and recent flooding are bound to amplify mosquito populations again any day now. It may take a while for numbers to really fade. One thing is for sure - it has been an impressive June for mosquitoes, and they got a fast start to the month! If July and August continue the current trend, we may end up breaking records this year!
Note: Not all of the absurdly high mosquito trap data have been entered into the database and the graph below overstates the population decline.