Mosquito season comes early

Mosquito season comes early »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- With summer right around the corner, now is the time to get outdoors. But it also means mosquito season. KEPR learned more mosquitoes are out earlier than usual in the Tri-Cities.

Bill Moore has spent more than 20 years dealing with mosquitoes in this area, but, earlier this month, he was surprised to see what he found.

"Most of the time we're setting traps, we'll see a few, but they're not being brought in yet, we were just in the middle of a swarm down there and we knew we were going to have big numbers," said Bill.

Staff say there have been areas that it wasn't safe for workers to spray because there was so many mosquitoes. Bill said it was unlike anything he had ever experienced before.

"It was uncomfortable," he said. "There were so many mosquitoes around us that they were in our face and flying. They weren't biting us at the time."

3,500 mosquitoes were trapped along the river in Richland. That's the highest number staff has seen in the month of May since 2008, when they trapped 2,300, an atypical number according to the Benton County Mosquito Control District.

"Normally, we're going to have those peak numbers at the end of June," said District Manager Angela Beehler. "Last year we saw them right at the Fourth of July; this year we saw a big spike in May."

The district receives nearly 20 calls a day from residents spotting adult mosquitoes in the area. Staff say the good news is that these mosquitoes are not the kind that carry diseases such as West Nile virus, but that doesn't mean they can't affect your health or your animals.

"If we miss even a small area, you could have a lot of mosquitoes and people can get secondary infections that's going to affect your pets and your livestock," said Beehler.

Another problem staff have had is location: The mosquitoes are not coming from the usual areas.

"We have our sites we normally check and treat, and everything looked really good, but then we saw all these adults come out, and so we needed to find new areas," said Beehler.

"We've see a surprise bloom of mosquitoes earlier than we would've expected to, kind of snuck up on us," said Moore.

The district urges residents to notify them if they see any mosquitoes. Staff say it takes about four days for a mosquito to become adult. You can prevent that by getting your animals pest repellant and not letting water sit outside.