[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 58°F  
Wind Advisory
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Insect population could be high this summer

Friday, May 19, 2006

(Photo)
Charlie Parks, city of Sikeston employee, places chemicals into the sewer drain.
SIKESTON - Stock up on your insect repellent because with the vast amount of rain in the past few weeks and the relatively mild winter, this summer could see a rise in the insect population around the Sikeston area.

"The moisture promotes the population of many insects and pests," said Stoy Atdes, and entomologist from Terminix, "and can cause them to move indoors."

Ants, millipedes and mosquitoes especially will thrive during the summer months due to the recent weather around the Bootheel, explained Atdes. The Sikeston area could also experience a rise in the populations of spiders and termites if this spring continues to bring high amounts of rain.

Although residents cannot greatly change the overall insect population, there are steps they can take to protect themselves and their homes from insects this summer.

Although many homeowners have their home sprayed regularly for bugs, Atdes suggested other improvements to help control the insect population around the home.

He said homeowners should repair all leaks, seal any exterior cracks and holes, install insect screening on vents and keep outdoor lights turned off at night. This can save the home from insect damage and protect those inside from insect bites.

The city of Sikeston has already started the mosquito abatement program and are encouraging residents to do their part to control the insect population in the area.

"The rain has delayed the treating of the catch and storm water bases," said street superintendent Steve Lee. "Those should be treated before the week is up and the spraying for mosquitoes will start in roughly two weeks."

The city is seeking to work with citizens to control the insect population and make upcoming summer more tolerable. Sikeston officials have put together a 10-point list that highlights ways homeowners can do their part to control the insect population in Sikeston and around their home.

This list can be found on www.sikeston.org or at the Sikeston City Hall for anyone who is interested. It includes easy tips such as keeping grass cut relatively short and filling in small holes in the yard that can turn into puddles.

For personal outdoor protection, there are also a number of steps to take for protection against insects.

The Red Cross Web site, www.redcross.org, suggests wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts, pants and a hat. It is also good to avoid high grass or brush and check for ticks after returning inside. The regular application of insect repellent is also important.

The site encourages people not to forget that pets are subject to insect bites and can bring bugs indoors. Check your pet for ticks and fleas after it returns inside. There are even special insect repellents made for dogs and cats that can protect them and the home that are available for purchase at many local stores, according to the Red Cross Web site.