Mosquito invasion strikes Alaska as state runs low of control supplies

June 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 19 (UPI) -- A severe mosquito invasion in south-central Alaska has led to a run on mosquito control products in local stores, Anchorage retailers reported.

Although anecdotal evidence abounds about the severity and size of the state's summer mosquito population every year, "mosquito populations are fairly high everywhere," said Janice Chumley of the Kenai Peninsula District office of the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service.

The state experienced an extremely wet autumn in 2012, followed by snow in winter. The snow covered and insulated the ground before it could freeze, "a perfect overwintering blanket for insects," Chumley said. "All those successfully overwintering sites produced clouds of mosquitoes."

As a result, the Anchorage Daily News' Facebook page drew more than 100 responses from readers on the topic of mosquitoes within an hour after a question was asked, and stores have run out of mosquito control products, the newspaper said.

The Anchorage Home Depot, Lowe's Home Improvement and Walmart each reported a run on "Mosquito Magnets," a device which uses propane and a chemical scent to lure, then kill, mosquitoes.

"I had 12 running feet [of shelving] with mosquito products. It's all bare," said Tim Craig of the Anchorage True Value Hardware.

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