The recent public discussion about the merits of mass-spraying for mosquitoes allowed one particular false argument to resurface. The argument, which is based on false logic, goes something like this: "If the mosquito counts are so high, then the spraying must not be effective." The mosquito problem in the Red River Valley begins with the flat terrain and clay soils which allow shallow puddles to form and persist in low-lying areas, particularly ditches, during times of wet weather.
Mosquito mitigation efforts greatly reduce the number of adult mosquitoes from what it would have been without spraying, but the bugs keep coming if the weather remains rainy. When spraying makes the news and comes to people's attention, there are usually lots of mosquitoes around, giving the impression that the spraying doesn't work. In fact, the mosquito population would be considerably higher without the spraying. Many of us can still recall how mosquitoes made enjoying the outdoors almost impossible in rainy summers prior to mosquito spraying.