Insect Numbers Expected To Rise In Nebraska After Wet Spring

COLUMBUS – As Nebraskans prepare for the summer, concerns are rising about the number of insects that may be present in the months ahead.

Dr. Megan Taylor with the Nebraska Extension says that due to a wet spring, the state is going to be seeing an elevated number of mosquitoes and ticks. Taylor says that those two insects are what Nebraskans should be considered about moving forward, especially for farmers that are currently planting crops for the season.

“When we’re haying, or working in our fields, or even in our gardens and tall grass is when we really need to be concerned about it,” Taylor said.

The increase in insects can also bring an increase in the diseases that they can carry, as Nebraska had 245 cases of West Nile Virus in 2018 according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Taylor says that ticks can bring their own diseases, such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

In order to combat the insect issues that Nebraska is expected to face this summer, Taylor says that there are methods of keeping safe that everyone should be adhering to throughout the coming months.

“Always do a tick check when you come in, and also wearing white socks because you’ll see them crawling up and down those white socks a lot easier than if you had dark socks on,” Taylor said. “With our mosquitoes, always using our mosquito repellent, which also works for ticks because it has 25% DEET, so just being covered as much as we can, always wearing the right clothing, and just making sure we’re safe.”