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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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All the buzz: Mosquitoes take over Wenatchee

By Libby Williams Wenatchee World

WENATCHEE – Mosquitoes are on the rise and out for blood this summer, especially at Walla Walla Point Park and Horan Natural Area in Wenatchee.

“I was just out there today, they are the worst that I have seen them in the four years I’ve been here,” Chelan County PUD Parks Department Superintendent Kyle Endelman said Tuesday.

Endelman speculated that the cause is the high snowpack this winter leading to a higher river flow and flooding. He said this created “a lot of little teeny water pools,” which are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

When mosquitoes are an issue, Endelman said the parks department has a permit to spread larvicide in the ponds in the Horan Area. Because the snowmelt is so high this year, these ponds are currently flowing.

“It doesn’t really do any good to put larvicide in flowing water,” Endelman said. “Mosquitoes don’t particularly like flowing water. They want still, shallow water. So we haven’t been able to do any control for mosquitoes.”

The Chelan PUD released a press release Thursday announcing crews are tentatively scheduled to begin treatment at 8 a.m. July 19, depending on water levels. They will use VectoLex CG, a pellet larvicide that is safe for use around people and pets.

Endelman said the small pools surrounding the year-round ponds where the mosquitoes are currently breeding should hopefully be gone by the time of treatment. The PUD does not have permits to treat those temporary bodies of water.

“We have 10 or 15 days of warm dry weather, which should dry those areas up,” Endelman said. “It should hopefully lead to reduction in mosquitoes in a couple of weeks.”

Endelman said those who can use bug spray should, and until the larvicide is used, he advises people to avoid the Horan area. He also said going out when it’s windy could help in avoiding getting bit.

It’s not just Walla Walla Point Park and the Horan Area.

According to a poll on the Wenatchee World’s social media platform NABUR, 50 out of 53 voters said they’ve noticed more mosquitoes this year, and our Facebook post inquiring about mosquito encounters has received 158 comments as of Wednesday.

Commenters expressed concern over excessive standing water leading to a surplus in mosquitoes, some saying they’re being “eaten alive.”

Sunnyslope resident Teri McGarr said the wet weather has made her yard a hot spot for mosquitoes.

“I’ve lived here in the valley for eight years and I’ve spent 12 summers here and I’ve never known them as bad as they are this year,” McGarr said. “I’ve got welts. I had to take my rings off because my hands swelled up so bad.”

Unfortunately for McGarr, she and her husband raise bees that could be affected by store-bought repellents. She said they’re looking for homemade remedies.

“There’s not a lot we can really do,” she said. “We just have to wait it out.”

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