LUBBOCK, Texas — We all know the sound of the dreaded buzz that gives everyone a clear sign that mosquito season is alive and well here. While all of the recent rain was a welcome and much-needed surprise, it does have a downside – an increase in mosquitoes.
“I didn’t know how bad it would be because of all the years of drought we’ve had, but they’ve come through and they’re out there,” said Tim Gafford, owner of Gafford Pest Control.
June has been a wet month with more than seven inches of rain so far. But the rain itself isn’t the problem. It’s the puddles that are left behind after a storm.
“They’re breeding in these stagnant ponds, all around playa lakes and if you have any standing water, they’re going to lay their eggs in it.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it only takes 8-10 days for a mosquito to go from egg to adult.
Pest control companies said they’ve been getting a lot of calls from customers asking for help to get rid of the skeeters in their yards.
“Probably spray two to three houses a day,” said James Shirley, a pest control technician with Terminix. “It’s a little bit more than usual just because of all the moisture and rain we’ve been having.”
One way to keep the mosquitoes at bay is by having an exterminator come to spray.
“When we spray, we use the mister or power pump,” Shirley said. “We have three chemicals we use. One is the insecticide, one is a growth regulator to prevent them from multiplying, and the other one is a surfactant so holds it to the shrubs.”
Gafford recommended finding a good mosquito repellent if you plan to spend time outdoors.
“If you don’t have it on, you won’t be out there long,” Gafford said. “They’ll tear you up. Especially right now, they’re really on the warpath.”
Gafford said to brace yourselves because this is just the beginning of what will be a lengthy mosquito season.
“When it starts heating up, it’s really going to be something else,” Gafford said. “We’re seeing a pretty good stampede of mosquitoes coming in right now, and I anticipate that it’s going to be a problem for a while. It’s not going to go away anytime soon.”
To keep these pests away, the American Mosquito Control Association said to remember the three D’s – Drain, Dress and Defend.
- Drain anything in your yard that collects water.
- Dress in light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
- Defend against mosquitoes with an EPA-approved insect repellent.