The floodwaters have receded in Moravia, but now many parts of the region are inundated with mosquitoes. Various sources have reported as many as 60 bites a minute in places – not necessarily a danger, but a definite inconvenience as the summer tourist season begins.
Enter Oldřich Šebesta, the mosquito specialist whose position the authorities wanted to abolish just a few years ago. Now he is one of the busier men in Moravia, identifying and spraying the most likely breeding grounds all over Moravia, where the pests are multiplying at what many are calling a calamitous rate.
“It rained almost constantly for a month in May, and relatively large areas of breeding grounds for mosquitoes were flooded, and now they are breeding heavily. The standard means of establishing the activity of the mosquitoes is by counting the number of females that land on a person per minute. Right now it isn’t that tragic. There are 10 or 20 on average, but even 60 bites a minute is possible; it can change completely from hour to hour in different places.”
Experts like Dr Šebesta are saying the situation hasn’t been worse in a decade. Some seventy locations in the far east of the country have reported mosquito “calamities” and one of the most infested areas seems to be the marshy region at the confluence of the Morava and Dyje Rivers, a popular summer destination for cyclists and visitors from the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.
“We are visiting all of the places where the mosquitoes could develop and spraying them if there are larvae there. Otherwise people need to take sprays with them if they are coming to these areas. It’s more of an inconvenience, I wouldn’t say it is a danger at the moment.”
While Dr. Šebesta says he for one does not call the situation a calamity, it is far beyond the prognosis he himself released at the beginning of May. Reporting calamity status allows districts to receive sprays free of charge.