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Receding Floodwaters and Mosquitoes

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Much of the state has seen heavy rains and flooding throughout the last few weeks, and as those flood waters start to recede pests are born

That's because standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Most people spray on insect repellant when they go outside, others chose to simply stay indoors at certain times of the day.

Either way, the idea is to avoid mosquito bites.

Summer time is outdoor time for many parents and their kids.

"We try to find a park somewhere me and my wife, take them out. Just to play. Get them out of the house, said parent, Gordon Stovall.

Some of those parks come with lakes, and where there's a body of water, there's a high chance of finding plenty of bugs.

"Ah it's mainly the gnats. I haven't really seen too much with mosquitoes yet, he said.

Still Gordon Stovall says he comes prepared.

"We put bug spray on...we just started using bug soother, said Stovall.

Experts say thats not a bad idea

"We may have had some flood waters in and then they've receded but if they've left areas that could still have standing water that could be a place where mosquitoes could breed, said James Hodina of the Linn County Public Health.

Hodina says it helps to simply eliminate mosquito breeding areas.

"You may have buckets outside...gutters on your house, if leaves accumulate and clog up your gutter that could be another place where standing water can accumulate, said Hodina.

Even with last week's first reported case of West Nile virus in Iowa, Hodina says flood waters are likely not to blame.

"Back in 2008 when we had the floods we thought that we would see an increase in mosquito population and actually we saw a decrease just cause the flood waters tended to wash the larvae, he said.

"If it starts to get bad, we'll find another park someplace else here in town and go, Stovall said.

Hodina says it's still important to take precautions especially when out and about.

He says one of the obvious ways to do that is to wear long sleeves whenever possible outdoors.
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