“People… Held Hostage In Their Homes" By Mosquitoes

Aug 20, 2013

Residents of Oregon's South Coast residents are calling for the federal government to eradicate the swarms of mosquitoes breeding in the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

Swarms of mosquitoes are breeding in the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and residents there want them eradicated.
Credit Eli Christman

Two years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent millions of dollars restoring parts of the Bandon Marsh that had been diked and used for grazing land.

The project created 400 acres of new habitat for young salmon and shorebirds. But it also created a new breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Bandon Mayor Mary Schamehorn says since June hordes of salt-marsh mosquitoes have been tormenting visitors to the nearby state park and Bandon Dunes golf course. On Monday city residents filled the room at a city council meeting on the issue.

"People told us they're held hostage in their homes. They can't go outside. They can't grill. They can't go work on their flowers. It's a very serious problem" says Schamehorn.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says it is working on the problem. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says he's been asking the agency to act since May, yet the onslaught of mosquitoes continues.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting