Editor's Notebook — Willis Mahannah

For those measuring, West Point received another 2.6 inches of rain in the past week.

Showers have been more than plentiful this year, and are a welcomed relief from last year’s dusty, dry days.

What won’t be welcomed because of all the rain are mosquitoes.

Yup, they are back after somewhat of a no-buzz year in 2012. And you can bet your itchy arms and legs that they will begin feeding on you soon.

Of course, it’s only the lady skeeters that are out for blood... The men in the family feed on nectar of flowered plants.

There are more mosquitoes out this year than there were at the same time last year, said Barbara Ogg, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator who specializes in entomology and pest management.

“Last year we had a lot of rainy weather in the spring and then it dried up,” Ogg said. “It’s going to be a problem in areas where we’ve seen abundant rain.”

Ogg said the best way to avoid getting bitten is to avoid being outside at times when mosquitoes are most active, such as dawn and dusk.

Because we can’t always stay inside at those times, I’m trying something new this year to keep the little buggers from swarming too much around my household.

A friend sent me a “sure fire” homemade mosquito trap idea that I intend to try. If it’s the mosquito magnet friend says it is, I just hope it traps them and not just attracts them.

Here is how to make one in case you want to try it:

Items needed:

1 cup of water

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 gram of yeast

1 2-liter plastic bottle

Cut the plastic bottle in half (save both halves) and mix brown sugar with hot water. When the mixture has cooled, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.

Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.

Place the funnel part of the plastic bottle upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.

Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)

Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Happy mosquito hunting.

Leave ‘em at home

I was a kid once, and I “get it” when it comes to fireworks, especially firecrackers.

But come July 4, if you happen to take part in any of the events in West Point’s Neligh Park, please leave your booms and pops at home.

No personal fireworks are to be brought into the park during the activities, but it’s understandable that some will end up there.

West Point’s Volunteer Fire Department, other local volunteers, the City of West Point and many businesses have chipped in in many ways to bring you a top notch fireworks show that evening.

Let’s enjoy that one, and all the other activities in the park, without a lot of other bangs.... Please?

(4) comments

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Luke Penn

Mosquitoes can be a real pain in the butt with their constant itching and biting. They are not nearly as aggressive as dogs, though dogs can be a bit territorial and may get into fights to claim a space, or they may just want to run away to their room and then get back into their cage in the same place. Most often, mosquitoes won't bite, nor even feed or do anything else, but they can still become a problem in a small, dirty apartment or house, as mosquitoes staten island knows. Mosquitoes can be tricky to handle, though you do want to try and do some research first and not do things that could cause problems. If you do not wish to buy a pesticide, then spraying just the area around your bedroom will be enough.

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