Wet spring means potentially busy year for mosquitoes - KPTV - FOX 12

Wet spring means potentially busy year for mosquitoes

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One of the water samples Harold Whedon collected Monday. (KPTV) One of the water samples Harold Whedon collected Monday. (KPTV)
Harold Whedon speaking with Fox 12 Monday. (KPTV) Harold Whedon speaking with Fox 12 Monday. (KPTV)

If you’ve been out enjoying the warm weather recently you may have noticed we’re entering the big mosquito season, and experts say this could be a busy year.

The rain and snow we’ve seen this spring mean there could be standing water in places where it wouldn’t normally be – including your own backyard.

“Five gallon buckets, wheelbarrows, gutters, bird baths, just little containers that you have in your backyard will collect water and breed mosquitoes,” said Harold Whedon with Multnomah County Vector Control.

Whedon said the easiest way to get rid of mosquitoes is to take away their water source and he’s encouraging homeowners to check their own properties for standing water.

“That’s going to be the main thing,” he said. “We can go and look at all our normal sites but there’s just five of us for the whole county so it’s hard for us to go door-to-door looking in backyards.”

Whedon said there are 22 mosquito species in Multnomah County, and summer mosquitoes can lay up to 200 eggs at a time.

That’s why controlling the population really comes down to controlling the larvae.

Monday, Whedon showed FOX 12 a water sample he took from a local pond which showed larvae in the water.

Vector control crews sometimes spray a non-toxic substance to control their population in standing water before they can spread. Whedon said it is not harmful to pets or people.

“Basically we walk in the swamp, in the water and spray in the water so that the mosquito larvae will eat that and die,” he said.

Entomologists also trap adult mosquitoes to determine where they’re coming from and whether they’re carrying any diseases.

“There’s always the concern but we haven’t had West Nile here in mosquitoes yet, we’ve only had West Nile in birds,” he said.

If you’re wondering about the Zika virus, Whedon said mosquitoes that carry it have not been found locally or in the entire state of Oregon.

As for cutting down the annoying bites where you live, remember to check for water and if you have a birdbath in the yard he recommends cleaning it out every week.

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