OSU studies the monsters of summer: Mosquitoes
STILLWATER, Okla. (KOKH) —
It's spring, that means it's severe weather and also mosquito season! Those little blood suckers are not just annoying. They can also carry diseases like West Nile and Zika, which can be deadly.
Right now there are thousands of mosquitoes inside OSU, now don't freak out, they're not terrorizing the campus, they're at OSU's mosquito breeding center. Researchers are learning about these pests to answer questions, like who they like to bite and how to stop the spread of diseases. Sometimes they might make you wanna scream, and you're not alone.
"I can't handle them very well," said Jordan Sanders, OSU Entomology Masters Student.
But mosquitoes don't have to be so scary.
"Well, just keep in mind it is that time of year," said Bruce Noden, OSU Medical & Veterinary Entomology Asst. Professor.
So OSU is keeping you prepared by breeding and studying these little guys.
"There are thousands and thousands of larvae in here," Noden said.
From larva to full grown blood sucker.
"They're wanting a piece of me," Noden said.
They're gathering data.
"We're trying to find out what to do with this," Noden said.
To answer the questions we want to know.
"There are some studies, I'm thinking of one in particular that links beer consumption with being mosquitoes liking you more," Noden said.
And answer the questions we need to know.
"We can have a better idea of where different diseases can happen if they ever come in," Noden said.
So let's go over a few tips to keep yourself protected. First up drain! Don't give them a home to breed. You want to drain any standing water around your home like in buckets, trash can lids, tubs, coolers, even tries, and especially the gutters on your home.
"That's a perfect place for the mosquitoes," Noden said.
Also, dress right. Roll down those sleeves and wear pants, protect yourself. And finally deet!! Spray it on and repel those pests. Repelling coils work great too they hate the smoke. And the folks at OSU use what they know to help the community.
"What we try to do is give them a kind of integrated pest management approach," Justin Talley, OSU Extension Livestock Entomologist.
And for some of them this issue hits close to home.
"A member of our community back home actually got West Nile and passed away," Sanders said.
Doctor Talley came down to Jordan's town to spread mosquitos awareness.
"He was actually an influential person in our community and it was actually a really sad moment just kind of surprising to know that it's that close to home," Sanders said.
So always keep in mind that mosquitoes could transmit something at anytime, but if you take the right steps, be aware and protect yourself, these monsters don't have to be so scary.