Mosquitoes out in full force around the Valley, how to prevent bites

Posted at 8:07 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 23:09:31-04

Residents across the Valley feel mosquitoes are becoming a big issue in their neighborhoods.

"When it rained and we had the storm there was stagnant water in the park and it was filled with mosquitoes sitting on water," said Radhika Siva, who lives in south Phoenix near 22nd Street and Roeser Road. Her neighborhood is one of the hardest hit in Phoenix.

Experts from Maricopa County Environmental Services told ABC15 our wet monsoon has been the perfect breeding ground for the blood sucking varmints, and now the calls are starting to pour in.

"It's starting to pick up, we're getting heavier rains, and definitely more mosquito activity through out all of Maricopa County," said Tom Fuentes, vector specialist with the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.

Most of the Valley's issues are with flood mosquitoes. They bite hard and often but Fuentes says won't carry diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika.

Chris Gorodenski with the Maricopa County Environmental Services said the three top areas right now for West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes is the Waddell area in the west Valley and parts of the far east Valley.

That has residents concerned.

"We are very worried about it, we have young kids, this community is filled with families with young children and they play in the park, mosquitoes are everywhere," said Siva.

County officials suggest wearing mosquito repellant when outdoors to prevent bites. Also, long sleeve shirts and long pants if you're out during feeding times.

They offer the following seven tips on their website:

  1. "Empty, drain, or cover all things that can and may hold water. 
  2. Maintain decorative ponds and ensure swimming pools are operating properly.
  3. Repair or prevent outside leaks.
  4. Change water collection pans for plant pots weekly.
  5. Clean bird baths weekly.
  6. Mow your lawn weekly. Mosquitoes tend to sit in tall grass for rest and hiding. Keep your grass as short as possible.
  7. Eliminate or fill nooks, crannies, and holes that can harbor mosquitoes and their eggs."

For more information, click here.