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Rain Bombs and Bugs

Frequent rains favoring mosquitoes and ticks

Our southwestern corner of Pennsylvania continues to get frequent and sometimes heavy rains this summer. Extremely localized “rain bombs” park over an area, or move through slowly enough, to bring flooding that's often said to be worse than remnants from past hurricanes.

“100 year storm” types of rainfall, where saturated ground can’t absorb the several inches per hour that arrives quickly, with very little warning. This is yet another symptom of global warming, since warmer air can hold more moisture. Dew points that are regularly in the 60’s bringing "muggy" weather.

It doesn’t help that so many local residents live in valleys, near or within flood plains, where ongoing residential and commercial development promotes faster runoff. Flood alerts have squawked on my cell phone more in past months than in previous years.

Which brings us to “bugs” – mosquitoes and ticks – who love these moist, humid conditions along with standing water. I discovered this hitchhiker on my arm last night before he had a chance to embed: 

tick.jpg

It’s not just the discomfort of these insect bites, it’s what can come along with them. Mosquitoes could be carrying West Nile Virus and a high percentage of ticks carry Lyme Disease.

These links will provide you with a refresher on each:

·        Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

·        Ticks and Lyme Disease

·        Our Climate Crisis

Bob

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