After the flood: droves of mosquitoes, mudslides

Gemeinde Zálezlice (Foto: ČTK)

New lagoons and ponds left over from recent floods in parts of Bohemia are proving fertile ground for mosquitoes. Officials have so far registered the most in the areas of Třeboň, south Bohemia and Mělník, north of Prague. Potentially more dangerous are mudslides in areas where the ground was thoroughly inundated.

Photo: CTK
Compared to the floods that hit parts of the country, mosquitoes are surely more of an annoyance than a threat, but health officials have warned that necessary steps be taken, already registering a jump in population numbers. František Rettich, a representative of the State Health Institute described the situation in southern Bohemia, suggesting that while mosquito density had not reached calamitous numbers yet, it easily could.

“In several places, in inundated meadows, we registered a thousand larvae per one litre of water. That’s not an exaggeration!”

Vladimír Valenta,  photo: Czech Television
In response, the country’s chief hygiene officer, Vladimír Valenta, called on regions affected by the recent floods to take preventative measures, namely by commissioning firms to help wipe out the droves of larvae within a short time period. The chief hygiene officer said the decision would be up to regional governors but warned that steps needed to taken fast.

“It is up to regional governors to commission firms specializing in wiping out the insects in higher numbers. The chemical applied needs to be applied within three, four days, sometimes less.”

Mosquito density can be targeted by area-wide spraying but some places require closer treatment by pest control crews. Meanwhile, Czech TV reported, there is only so much of the neccesary chemical available to go around: with stores low in Bohemia, chemicals capable of wiping out mosquitoes in higher numbers will have to be brought in from parts of Moravia. Regional governor and deputy head of the Social Democratic Party Michal Hašek confirmed that South Moravia, which had the chemical spray in much higher quantity was ready to help. Other areas besides southern Bohemia likely to require it include Mělník, not far from Prague, while the Czech capital, by comparison, will not have to act.

The mudslide in Litochovice,  photo: CTK
Still other threats which are flood-related are that of mudslides or earthslides in places, with a hotline in place for anyone noticing cracks in the ground or other unusual signs. Last Friday, saw part of the D8 highway under construction in Litochovice by a massive mudslide, with damage estimated in the hundreds of millions of crowns.