Ridgefield has not had a serious mosquito infestation for several years. We have been in a drought for the past several years. This year we have had a very wet spring. We’ve had almost 15 inches of rain since the beginning of April. The nortwest has also had an above average snow pack. The Columbia River has been near flood stage the past few weeks. It has put much of the refuge underwater and is now beginning to recede.
Flood mosquitos lay eggs on dry ground in areas likely to flood later. If it doesn’t flood, the eggs can be dormant for years, emerging as larvae when it does flood and when conditions are right. After a week or so, the larva pupate for a few days and then emerge.
The mosquito presence this spring was light. However, during the last few days, they have made a strong presence. They are especally bad near Gee Creek. They are numerous in Abrams Park if you are near the creek. They are most aggresive in the late afternoon and evening.
With the July 4th celebration this weekend visiters to the park need to be prepared. Mosquitos like bare skin. But even uptown, mosquitos are going to be present.
In years that mosquitos have been especially bad, they were around for much of July with decreasing numbers in August. Flood mosquitos aren’t much for carrying diseases so that’s good. They are just a nuisance. In years they are bad, and this may be one, they can drive people away.
By Paul Snoey