Mosquitoes Invade Midwest After Floods

Flooded areas of the Midwest are experiencing one of the worst mosquito outbreaks in years. Some portions of Iowa are seeing 20 times the number the mosquitoes typically seen in the summer. The good news is these are mostly floodwater mosquitoes and not the kind that usually carry West Nile virus and other diseases. However, the swarms of mosquitoes have a stinging bite. Complaints and requests for insecticide spraying have several Chicago districts working day and night to deal with the problem. Sweat and carbon dioxide given off by the skin and from breathing are among the best known mosquito magnets. Alcohol in lotions and perfumes also attracts mosquitoes, as do some cosmetic fragrances including lavender. Some evidence suggests that people with very high cholesterol levels often are mosquito magnets. Mosquitoes need fats like cholesterol but can't make them so they feed on others.

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