Litchfield Park residents fed up with uptick of mosquitoes swarming neighborhood

Posted at 8:05 PM, Aug 24, 2017

Neighbors in one Litchfield Park have had it with all the itching and the scratching. They say they've had to deal with an infestation of mosquitos in recent weeks.

"Literally, you can't be out there. You just get bitten up," resident Jessica Walman said.

Walman has lived in Palm Valley North community for the last two years. She says the first monsoon season they had no problems. 

"We're seeing them during the day, we're seeing them at night, you can't take your trash cans out, kids can't go outside, there are literally thousands of them," Matt Lawrence added.

Lawrence has lived in the community for the last three years. He says the issue with mosquitoes began a few weeks ago.

He says he can't go outside without being bitten. He has to do yard work in pants and a long sleeve shirt to ward off the mosquitoes. He also always has bug spray close by.

He added his two kids are bitten just walking to the bus and his dog Bailey isn't safe either. When his pup walks outside to go to the bathroom she comes back covered in the bugs.

"With a dog you can't swat them off so I have to gently move them off which causes the blood to come down," he says.

He, like Walman, and many others believe the water retention facility directly behind their subdivision is the cause for all their problems. It became fully functional about four months ago.

"I've had zero issues and once that went live all the bugs started coming out," Walman explained.

Liberty Utilities who runs the facility says they received complaints this week and have sent out representatives to speak with residents but assure that the problem is not from their facility.

"Our mosquito expert actually comes out on a weekly basis and he actually writes reports and sets up traps. We collect those things and we look at those items but we haven't found anything that indicates it's coming from our facility," said Matt Garlick, a spokesman for the company.

Garlick says they are very vigilant about making sure their facility does not provide a breeding ground for mosquitos. He also added that they have seen a decrease in mosquitoes since they have been there but says they will be adding extra traps on top of the ones they already have.

Garlick also says the facility consultant on mosquitoes is provided by Aquatic Consulting and Testing, Inc. They also test the mosquitoes and were out at the facility today trapping more. 

To date, Garlick says none have come back testing positive for West Nile Virus.

Maricopa County Environmental Services has also been out there trapping and testing mosquitos. They have been active in the west Valley and east Valley testing and trapping mosquitoes because of a concern for West Nile Virus.

Johnny Dilone, public information officer for Maricopa County Environmental Services, says they have received phone calls from concerned residents about the issue and have been trapping and testing mosquitoes in the area. They too say none of their testing has found any mosquitoes with West Nile Virus. 

They say they continue to look for a cause to the influx residents are reporting.