Mosquito and mole activity rises with recent heavy rain in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – Summer is time to be outside. But is also prime time for pests.

“At Rottler, the phones ring off the hook. And we tend to track what’s going on,” says Jay Everitt, Technical Director at Rottler Pest Solutions.  

July has been a wet month with more than five inches of rainfall so far. The wet has caused a bloom in mosquitos.

“With five inches of rain, warm temperatures, this insect lays an egg, it reproduces, and it grows to an adult in pretty quick time,“ Everitt said.

You can control mosquitos by removing standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs. After a rain, be sure to empty things like buckets, dog bowls, and trash can lids.

“Your kiddie pools out here. The simple thing to do is just dump that water out and put fresh in. If you do that every couple of days, you probably won’t have a problem. With the kids’ toys. You know, this might not look like it has a water problem, but it has a little under that hood here. See how the water gathers in there. The mosquitos will find that and that’s a simple place where they can develop,” Everitt said.

During outdoor fun, be sure to wear insect repellent, preferably one with Deet, to keep skeeters away. But there are other products that can help.

“There’s all different types of insect lights out there that you can put into your outside lighting. You’ve got citronella candles that act as a repellent,” Everitt said.

From a no-see-ums flitting above to a pest burrowing under your feet, the rain has moles coming back to the surface.

“When you get that much rain, it drives their food source up to the surface which they then follow. Basically, that’s how we’re seeing all this damage right now,” Everitt said.

The long surface runs kill the grass and create quite the hazard when doing yard work. Baits and traps are available, but there are also other options to try to drive the moles from your yard.

“There are repellents you can put on the soil that will make the soil taste bad. There’s all kinds of sonic repellers out there. Moles are real sensitive to the vibration and the sound. They can pick up on that. When they come into that area, this little spike thing vibrates which tends to drive them off,” Everitt said.

As we dry out, yes, the moles will dig down deeper. But they aren’t really gone. They’ll wait it out, often near the base of trees, until the next round of heavy rain brings earthworms and the moles who eat them to the surface once again.

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