Mosquito counts could rise with recent rains and summer heat

Published: Jun. 24, 2019 at 5:51 PM CDT
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Health department officials said they expect the number of mosquitoes in Grayson County to increase as we get deeper into the summer, and along with it, the risk of disease.

"Between the bugs and the humidity, just stay inside," said Austin Hoover, who lives in Grayson County.

Hoover said it's hard to do that, because it finally feels like summer.

"When the temperature's above 50 degrees, mosquitoes are active," said pest control company Mosquito Joe co-owner Matthew McReynolds.

It's a simple equation. Experts said recent rains plus warm weather are the perfect combination for mosquitoes to breed.

In fact, Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said they could be breeding near your home.

"With all of the rain, the standing water," Ortez said.

According to the National Weather Service, in just the last three months, much of Texoma has received 15 to 20 inches of rain.

"That's certainly going to contribute to an increase. And it all depends on where you are," Ortez said.

She said the health department set up 40 traps around the county.

This month, they all tested negative for diseases like West Nile and Zika, which she said pregnant women, young children and older adults especially need to watch out for.

"We've got a lot of rain, we've got a lot of heat and we've got a lot of humidity," McReynolds said.

McReynolds said even a puddle can cause hundreds of mosquitoes to mature and lay more eggs.

"They seem to enjoy everybody being outside, of course that makes everybody not want to be outside," Hoover said.

But Ortez said if you're itching to be outdoors, there's a few things you can do to stop the bugs from bugging you.

"And that's your four D's of course. It's dress, drainage, dusk, dawn and of course deet," Ortez said.

She said the best ways to keep the pests away are eliminating standing water around your home and carrying repellent with you to stay prepared.