By: Logan Minter, UK Public Health Entomology
They’re coming. They search for you in the night. Whether you are relaxing by the pool or you are innocently sleeping, they will find you. They are cruel assassins armed with sharp weapons they plan to use for one purpose and one purpose alone.
They are thirsty…..thirsty for blood. Your blood.
Who are these terrorists? Although they go by several aliases, such as Culex pipiens, Aedes albopictus, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus, they are collectively known to us as the mosquitoes. That’s right, the wicked thieves who steal so many summer evenings to their persistent vexation of anyone who dares to venture outdoors.
While mosquito season might seem as far away as the dog-days of summer, the beginning is just around the corner, and the time to make preparations is now!
During the final week of March, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) will be meeting in Lexington, KY for their annual conference where scientists and vector control officials from all over North and South America will share insight and ideas on managing these adversaries of humans and animals. As part of the conference, volunteers from the AMCA and the University of Kentucky’s Department of Entomology will provide an opportunity to learn more about these and other insects to the people of Lexington.
The event will take place at the Lexington Explorium, located on Short Street in downtown Lexington, from 10 am – 3 pm on Tuesday, March 30th. This is during the spring break for Fayette County and several other local schools and will provided a great opportunity for kids to learn some fun and cool facts about mosquitoes and other insects. Students who attend will also learn about life cycles, food chains, and other aspects of ecology which are components of the State of Kentucky’s Life Science learning outcomes for many grade levels. Admission to the Explorium is only $6.00 Parking is available nearby and your ticket can be validated with the Explorium.
Kentucky is home to nearly 60 different types of mosquitoes which have a variety of lifestyles and habitats. However, all mosquitoes must have water to develop as young.
In the spring, snow-melt or rain waters refill the area where the eggs were laid, which coupled with warmer temperatures and longer day lengths, triggers the mosquito eggs to hatch.
Homeowners can also help to do their part by eliminating breeding areas on their property, such as neglected containers, dented or damaged gutters, rain barrels, untreated swimming pools, and ruts in soil.