Increased rainfall brings more mosquitoes
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After weeks of wet weather, we are finally looking at drier days ahead. But last week’s heavy rain has led to standing water, and standing water means more mosquitoes.
Folks around the Cape Fear have been feeling the effects of the wet summer we’ve been experiencing.
“We noticed a lot of mosquitoes when we first moved in because of the drainage near our house but this year it’s definitely been worse,” said New Hanover County homeowner Gloria Carr.
“When there’s massive amounts of rain like this, it’s pretty insane how much it increases the mosquito population, they just have so many more places to breed,” said Austin Wilson, Operations Manager for the Mosquito Squad in Wilmington.
Wilson knows firsthand how rain can boost the insect’s population.
“A mosquito only needs a cap full of water to actually be able to breed,” he said.
Wilson responds to calls around the area, spraying for adult mosquitoes, and preventing new ones from developing.
“We also will put a larvicide into stagnant water, which is a little granual, and that disrupts the breeding cycle,” said Wilson.
If you live in New Hanover County, you can pick up larvicide tablets for free at the Government Center and the Health Department. Each tablet is designed to treat up to 50 gallons of water.
“Since this is the first significant emergence since the rain started, now we’re transitioning from the field work where we’re treating lots, larvae, and mosquito breeding sites, and we’re moving into the truck based equipment where it’s more evening work and the mosquitoes are flying,” said Brunswick County Mosquito Control Supervisor Jeff Brown.
Brown says that spraying cannot eliminate the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, because they fly during the day. He says the best way to stop them is to eliminate standing water.
Because diseases like West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been detected in our area, experts say it’s important to protect yourself, whether you use body spray, a mosquito service for your property, or wear long sleeves and pants.