Netherlands on eve of mosquito plague

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The extremely wet weather of the past month in combination with rising temperatures is expected to lead to "an explosion of adult mosquitoes".

Scientists from the Wageningen University are advising people to remove any stagnant water from buckets, water butts and even from saucers under flower pots. Flat roofs and gutters are also places were water may collect. It’s deemed advisable to keep doors and windows closed late at night and early in the morning.

Freshwater ecologist Piet Verdonschot from the university’s Alterra research institute says a research team will attempt to create an artificial mosquito plague next week.

The team will try to chart the flying behaviour of the mosquitoes. To this end, they have collected, refrigerated and stored hundreds of thousands of mosquito eggs. The stored eggs will be artificially hatched in a greenhouse next week.

The researchers hope that measuring the mosquitoes’ flying distance will provide useful information on the minimum distance between inhabited areas and river forelands and wetlands.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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