Cool, wet summer has led to more bugs in Middle TN - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Cool, wet summer has led to more bugs in Middle TN


Metro health department crews have been finding triple or even quadruple the normal amount of mosquitoes in Nashville neighborhoods this year, and the weather is largely to blame.

The pleasant summer has been popular with many people in Middle Tennessee, and it seems the bugs are loving it, too.

When the health department places a mosquito trap outside during the first week of August, normally that trap will catch five or 10 mosquitoes.

But some traps are catching up to 40 of the bugs, and it's been on that pace for much of the season.

"We have the perfect environment conducive for mosquitoes. It's been fairly warm, and it's been wet," said Sanmi Areola, Ph.D. with the Metro Health Department.

At least 23 samples in Nashville have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and while there have not been any local human cases yet, the community is on the way to a record number of West Nile mosquitoes.

And it's not just mosquitoes causing havoc. Last week, a 71-year-old woman was stung numerous times by yellow jackets when they swarmed and chased her back inside her house.

"Last year, we were doing segments on heat exhaustion, because there were incredibly hot days. We've been blessed not to have that kind of heat this year, but people are feeling more comfortable being outside doing things that put them in contact with stinging insects," said Dr. Bryan Sharpe, at Tristar Summit Hospital.

Sharpe said many people immediately go to the doctor after being stung, but he recommends to not panic.

"Usually it's just ice to the area and ibuprofen. That's all I do with my kids. Now, if the area starts to swell up, then sometimes I'll give them a dose of Benadryl," Sharpe said.

There's no word on whether yellow jacket bites are up, but Metro health experts say other biting insects have had a big summer for sure.

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