WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's the first day of summer, and mosquitoes are out in full force. But budget cuts this year combined with higher bug populations may mean more bites than you bargained for.
"Relative to our season last year, it's definitely up," said Eason Bryan, owner of Mosquito Squad, a pest control company. "Probably more mosquito activity, getting a lot more calls from new people that are not only seeing that we're out there, but are also having more problems."
David Jenkins heads the mosquito control program for New Hanover County. He said recent rain is helping boost the mosquito population. Even with the cold winter across the region, mosquitoes are out for blood.
"Cold winters usually don't have too much of an effect," Bryan said. "It's more of the heavy rainfalls, and we had the heavy rains and that seems to be the case."
But the bugs mean more than just an inconvenience. They can, and are, helping to spread diseases, especially to children.
New Hanover County sprays frequently during the summer months to control the mosquito population, but budget cuts across the board this year have even the spraying operations tightening their belts.
"We do have a budget we're working with and obviously we want to be as efficient as possible, and at the same time we want to respond to our customers' needs," Jenkins said.
With less spraying you'll need be extra vigilant by ridding your yard of standing water this year. With it only being the first day of summer, we still have many months to go before we can get these bugs out of our hair
County crews went out for their first spraying sessions of the year over the last week. While they do try and respond to complaints of high bug populations, they encourage homeowners to do their part to reduce standing water.