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Mosquito Plague: Blame It on the Boom 

What next - locusts? Already beset by catastrophic rates of unemployment, foreclosures and plummeting real estate prices, Bend has been visited by a new plague

What next - locusts? Already beset by catastrophic rates of unemployment, foreclosures and plummeting real estate prices, Bend has been visited by a new plague this summer: mosquitoes.

According to a story in this morning's Bulletin, the buzzing bloodsuckers have been turning up in more places and hanging around longer this year than usual.

The Eye can vouch for that claim personally: It seems like every time we spend more than 15 minutes outside we come back with a dozen red, itchy welts.

The reason the experts quoted by The Bulletin gave is our wet spring weather, which dragged on through the first half of June. Lots of rain means plenty of nice, stagnant puddles for mosquitoes to raise their families in.

We can see the plausibility of this theory; our spring weather, after all, really was remarkably soggy. But we can think of something else to pin at least part of the blame on: the real estate boom.

Before you laugh, think about it: A boom means more houses and offices getting built - a lot more. More houses and offices mean more landscaping, more lawns and flowers and plants - and more watering. More watering means more puddles of water standing around.

And the water doesn't have to stand around long for it to spawn a new generation of mosquitoes: They can develop from egg to adult in as little as 10 days.

So the next time you're trying to enjoy a summer evening out on your deck or patio while swatting away at swarms of airborne parasites, reflect that this may be one more reason to be grateful for Bend's policy of no-holds-barred growth. Not to mention the cheery prospect of West Nile virus.

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