Recent rainfall may increase mosquito population

Recent rainfall may increase mosquito population (Image 1)

As heat and humidity rise, so does the mosquito population. Central North Carolina has experienced a wetter than normal spring and those blood-sucking bugs may be more noticeable in the coming months.

Dr. Charles Apperson, professor emeritus with the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University said to expect to have a high mosquito population this summer based on the amount of rainfall we have received.

He also encourages people to take the necessary steps to rid mosquitoes from their property.

“Go around your yard every week and flush out the bird baths, empty the pots below the plants, get rid of the tires if you possibly can and try to eliminate all standing water,” Apperson said. “If you do that, not only on your property, but encourage your neighbors to do the same thing, then you’ll eliminate a lot of mosquitoes from biting you.”

Mosquitoes need very little water in order to reproduce. Mosquito larvae have been found in standing water in items as small as bottle caps.

The Asian tiger mosquito, the most problematic mosquito in suburban areas of North Carolina, is produced in containers of standing water in your own backyard. It’s very aggressive and very attracted to people and pets, but there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes this summer.

Apperson suggested that staying indoors or covering up exposed skin if you need to be outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are particularly active.

Another recommendation is to use repellants on exposed skin and clothing. A variety of repellants exist from DEET-based products to natural, green or botanical products that are safe and effective.

Apperson also said that if we continue to get rain, the mosquito population will linger into the fall season. A recent study done by the pest control company Orkin ranks the Triangle area at No. six on their list of top mosquito cities.

Copyright WNCN 2015. All rights reserved.

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