Dr. Gregg Galloway says a wet spring has led to an increased pest population this summer.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Anyone who has spent time outdoors this summer can vouch for the fact that the insect population has been active.
Dr. Gregg Galloway, a pathologist at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, says the wet spring set the stage for increased pests.
This summer has seen more mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, and ticks than previous years. Galloway says DEET sprays provide the best protection against the insect itself, but to truly ward off pests, it's necessary to start at the source.
"We should try and remove all areas where there's water that sits--and empty tires, bird baths when it's not changed every three or four days, so that we take away the breeding ground for mosquitoes," said Galloway.
As far as disease related issues stemming from bugs, Galloway says West Nile has not posed a major threat so far this year.
He says, according to the Iowa Department of Health website, only one case of the virus was documented in Iowa this year, in Lynn County. That patient was successfully treated.
Though insect-related illnesses have not been prevalent, Galloway still urges folks to safeguard themselves and their loved ones against bug bites.
"The most important thing is to take precautionary measures when we go outside. Some of the worst cases of bug bites we see are usually kids that unfortunately want to go outside, and they want to play and roll in the grass," said Galloway.
Galloway also mentioned that Lyme disease doesn't pose a threat for Northwest Iowa at his time. But he says instances of the disease are becoming more widespread due to the increasing deer population. Since that population is spreading to urban areas, the disease itself is becoming urbanized.
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