Midwest Lakes Policy Center

June 23, 2008

Mosquitoes, Lakes and West Nile Virus

After two relatively mild summers for bugs and mosquitoes, the pests are back. After a very wet winter and spring in the Midwest, mosquitoes will be out in force around lakes, rivers and ponds. Cases of West Nile Virus and La Crosse encephalitis could reach an all time high in some states this year. Thousands of cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the past few summers from South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states.

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July 25, 2007

Pond Skaters

Video of pond skaters hard at work.

Pond skaters are insects that inhabit the surface of ponds, small lakes and marshes where they feed primarily on other insects. The name pond skater is frequently used to refer to members of the family Gerridae. 

These insects all share highly modified mouth parts that form a jointed rostrum, enclosing the slender mandibles and maxillae . The rostrum is used to pierce plant or animal tissues and suck out fluids.

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July 16, 2007

Toad Bug

Toad Bugs (Gelastocoris oculatus) are found in the mud, sand and rocks along the shores of many lakes around North America. They have broad grasping front legs, which they use to collect food....

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July 10, 2007


Mayflies are an ancient group of insects, closely related to dragonflies and damselflies. They are aquatic insects whose nymph stage usually lasts one year in fresh water. The adults live from a few hours to a few days depending...

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June 6, 2007

A Fish Eating Spider

Do some spiders eat fish? Yep, Fisher Spiders are also known as fishing spiders or water spiders. They are amphibious and are typically found in moist areas, especially along the edges of streams and lakes. They have the ability to...

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December 9, 2005


As winter arrives the world around us is changing, what on our lakes, rivers and streams is different. What species thrive in cold, harsh environments? Black specks on snow, especially around the base of shoreline trees and brush, are insects...

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September 29, 2005


Scientists said on Wednesday they have discovered how tiny insects manage to walk on water and propel themselves across the slippery slopes of ponds and puddles. Although the surfaces of the water look flat to the human eye, for the...

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