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Trump takes the gloves off versus Kavanaugh accusers. Also on the Wednesday rundown: rural areas reap benefits from Medicaid expansion; a two-generation approach to helping young Louisiana parents; and a new documentary on the impact of climate change in North Carolina.

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Climate Change Starts to Bite. And Sting, Itch, Suck and Stink.

PHOTO: A new report from the National Wildlife Federation says outdoor pests are increasing because of climate change. Photo from NWF and Charlie Archambault.
PHOTO: A new report from the National Wildlife Federation says outdoor pests are increasing because of climate change. Photo from NWF and Charlie Archambault.
August 21, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. – As concern rises about mosquitoes in eastern Virginia carrying disease, a new report suggests climate change means more of those and other pests.

Norfolk health officials have found West Nile virus in a couple of neighborhoods.

The report from the National Wildlife Federation documents a rise in mosquitoes, deer ticks, algal blooms and other outdoor problems because of global climate change.

Jay Chancellor, the hunter and angler outreach consultant in Virginia for the National Wildlife Federation, says the report confirms what a lot of people who spend time in the outdoors are finding.

"Climate change isn't just happening at the ice caps,” he points out. “It's happening in our back yards.

“Right here in Virginia, we're seeing increased numbers of deer ticks, tiger mosquitoes, algal blooms, and it's really affecting people's enjoyment of the outdoors."

Chancellor says the outdoors is a $13.5 billion business in the state.

Many in the coal and oil industries have cast doubt on global warming.

Report co-author and federation senior scientist Doug Inkley says researchers found pests increasing in number and expanding their range around the country.

He says even poison ivy is growing faster and is becoming more toxic.

"I'm talking about deer ticks,” he says. “I'm talking about poison ivy. I'm talking about fire ants.

“All of these species are actually able to now proliferate because of the change in climate."

Inkley adds researchers also documented a rise in stinkbugs and jellyfish because of climate disruptions.

Chancellor says in the Blue Ridge the biggest issue may be the expansion of deer ticks and the Lyme disease they carry.

He says it was enough to stop him from replacing his hunting dog, much as he wanted to, because the dogs can bring Lyme disease into the house.

"Kind of looked around and said the mountain here is so dangerous,” he explains. “My neighbor's dog just got Lyme disease, my neighbor just got Lyme disease. I just said it's not really worth the risk."


Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA