Receding Midwest Floodwaters Shine Renewed Importance on Effective Mosquito Control and Education Efforts

Monday, June 23, 2008 General News
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 23 Mosquitoes, pesky insects thathave prospered since prehistoric times, are an interesting species. Theaverage adult life span of a female is three to 100 days, and she can lay upto 300 eggs at a time and thousands in her lifetime. Eggs can lay dormant andviable for months, and up to 100 or more mosquitoes can emerge per square footof water per day in a good breeding habitat.

These facts are noteworthy as public health officials and residents inseven Midwestern states brace for potential health and environmentalramifications due to the effects of widespread flooding. As the aftermathbecomes a reality and mosquito populations explode, it is important forresidents and public health departments to implement cooperative programs foreffective mosquito control.

Government agencies and municipalities are scrambling to determine whethertheir existing plans will stop development of millions of larvae currentlyspawning over hundreds of thousands of acres of standing water. In tandem withgovernment efforts, residents of all affected areas can assume responsibilityfor minimizing the impact the potentially harmful insects have in their ownbackyards.

John Neberz of Schaumburg, Ill.-based Central Life Sciences, whosefounders invented insect growth regulator technology more than 30 years ago,said, "As was demonstrated during the last extensive Midwest flood in 1993,residual floodwater produces many habitats where mosquitoes thrive."

"Each public health department in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan,Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin is tailoring its own program based on thecommunity's needs," he said. "They are concerned about increased populationsand the well being of residents and realize that mosquito breeding will be anissue throughout summer and into fall."

Many areas that have standing water are highly susceptible to continuedpuddling and mosquito breeding because the already saturated ground won't beable to accommodate additional rainfall.

Neberz said, "We see increased use of larvicide products, whichcommunities put into sewer basins and other standing water locations, afterheavy rains and flooding. Larviciding, which prevents adult mosquitoes fromhatching, is an environmentally responsible solution that controls bothnuisance mosquitoes and those that can carry diseases such as West NileVirus."

What can the public do immediately to take responsibility for minimizingmosquitoes as floodwaters recede? According to the American Mosquito ControlAssociation (AMCA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), there are several important steps:

"Obviously, communities devastated by these horrendous floods will befacing difficult situations and will have a lot to deal with," Neberz said."This cooperative effort between residents and their local governments will goa long way in keeping mosquito populations in check."

About Central Life Sciences

Central Life Sciences is a strategic business unit of Central Garden & Pet(Nasdaq: CENT). Central Life Sciences is dedicated to creating healthierenvironments and making life better for people, plants and companion animalsaround the world. As inventors of insect growth regulator (IGR) technologymore than 30 years ago, the founders of Central Life Sciences pioneeredbiorational pest control: using the insect's chemistry as a means to reducepest populations. For information about Central Life Sciences call1-800-248-7763 or visit online at Remove residual standing water as soon after floodwaters dissipate as possible, including in areas such as old tires, recycling containers, bird baths, boats and canoes, pool covers and tree stumps -- As soon as possible, mow grass to facilitate the drying of the ground and minimize above ground water retention -- While outside, co

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