Mosquitoes pester cleanup volunteers after Missouri flooding

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Mosquitoes are challenging volunteers helping in recovery and cleanup efforts after a tornado outbreak slammed southwest Missouri.

The Joplin Globe reports that state health officials have warned about mosquitoes after heavy rain in the region. The insects are a nuisance and can carry disease.

Volunteer coordinator Gary Stubblefield says volunteers cleaning up after an EF-3 tornado struck parts of Carl Junction on May 22 have asked for repellent contributions since their second day at the site. He says organizers have handed out hundreds of cans, and more is needed.

The Department of Health and Environment in neighboring Kansas is encouraging residents to clear standing water that could become a breeding ground for the insects. The Missouri Department of Conservation says given the correct habitat, mosquitoes can reproduce in 10 days.