Harsh weather mars war on mosquitoes

Hard winds and driving rain have hampered the battle against an annual mosquito invasion around the lower part of the Dalälven river in eastern Sweden.

Harsh weather mars war on mosquitoes
Spraying operation at mosquito-infested Österfärnebo, 2009

A company run by biologist Jan Lundström, Nedab, has been granted permission to carry out a major pesticide operation in an area that has previously registered the highest concentration of mosquitoes in Europe.

But adverse weather conditions have hampered the firm’s plans, with workers only managing to spray an area covering 1,000 hectares since Monday. Lundström had expected them to spray 600 hectares per day.

“It has gone incredibly slowly,” he told local newspaper Gefle Dagblad.

The slow pace of the project is a cause of major concern as the pesticide only has an effect on mosquito larvae at an early stage of their development.

Extensive flooding in the area has meant that the mosquito threat is even more pronounced than usual but members of the mosquito control team are no longer certain that they will reach the areas most prone to infestation in time.

Environment minister Andreas Carlgren delighted many inhabitants of the area at the beginning of May when he granted Nedab permission to spray anti-mosquito pesticides in parts of the Nedre Dalälven area designated as a national park.

“Last year’s mosquito invasion was unbearable and the authorities were either slow or unwilling to solve the problem. The decision to control the situation came too late. We want to avoid the same thing happening again,” he told Gefle Dagblad at the time.

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