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Bugs In Standing Water Can Cause Illnesses

Updated: Tuesday, June 4 2013, 07:53 AM CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--ity leaders are asking folks to stay away from the flooding.

Officials say the water may look shallow, but it could be much deeper or have a strong current.

Standing water may look harmless but the opposite is true.

It's actually a breeding ground for mosquito larvae and other insects you just don't want to mess with.

It's because they love standing water and the rains and floods have left lots of it, especially mosquitos.

Even if you aren't near flood waters, "you need to look in a variety of places like the open buckets around your house, the bird baths the waiting pool things like that,” said James Hodina of the Linn County Public Health.

Aside from the irritation factor, mosquitos are known to transmit diseases like the West Nile virus, but the timing of the flood gave us a break.

"It’s not something that we would expect. Generally it's later in the summer before we start seeing any cases for West Nile,” Hodina said.

It's not only mosquitos you should worry about.

There are also pests like gnats and fungus gnats.

"They are attracted to light so usually you find them congregating around windows, doors,” said pest control technician James Campbell.

Gnats can be found near dead leaves, grass and shrubs--things that are often found near water.

As long as there's plenty of moisture in the air, like evaporating flood water, they will be around.

Best advice; try to drain those ponds, pools, and birdbaths and if that fails.

"Products that contain deet are proven to be the most effective up to about 30 percent containing deet in insect repellant. That would be something we always recommend you apply,” said Hodina.

One other health tip, you have no idea what kind of chemicals may be in the flood water.

In the past those waters have been found to contain chemicals, petroleum products, animal waste get in it and there's a good chance you're going to get sick.

Bugs In Standing Water Can Cause Illnesses

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