BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — If you’ve noticed more mosquitoes nipping at your ankles, you’re not alone. After weeks of unseasonably dry conditions, wet weather is making a comeback and so are those pesky blood-suckers!
Brunswick County Mosquito Control supervisor Jeff Brown says so far this season, mosquito populations have been lower than normal. That’s according to data collected over the past 20 years.
As it rains more, and water begins to pool in low lying areas, mosquitoes start to breed. That happens first in coastal areas where the ground is closer to sea level.
“The closer you are to the coast, or sea level, it doesn’t take as much water to fill things up to get the mosquitoes percolating or moving,” Brown said.
Brown says not all mosquitoes are affected by the water level.
“There’s 48 species of mosquitoes in Brunswick County,” Brown said. “At any given time of the year we’re probably playing, or dealing with anywhere between five and 12 species.”
Unlike the other 47 species, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes only breed in man-made containers. And because they fly during the day, a spray truck won’t kill them.
“They have evolved to live near humans,” Brown said. “Think about it: we give them the container, then we walk out the back door and give them the blood meal. They don’t have to work very hard.”
Brown says the best way to control the tiger mosquitoes is by dumping any standing water in buckets, pots, tarps, or tires.
Brown is also participating in a study with East Carolina University, filling bins with hay, pine straw, or mulch, and water to see what attracts certain species.
“Different mosquitoes like different areas and we’re trying to replicate that in more of a controlled environment.”
Brown says they will begin spraying along the coastal edge of Brunswick County Wednesday night.
Click here to see weekly data on mosquito populations compared to years past.