The increase in monsoons this season has been an incredible break from the high temperatures. However the rain has brought with it a pesty problem.
If you have noticed more mosquito bites lately, you are not wrong. The valley has a problem and we can thank Monsoon 2021.
Monsoon 2021 has been a record breaking wet monsoon season. That National Weather Service (NWS) reported Phoenix has seen 17 days with measurable rain since the start of the season. The monsoons have left behind a lot of stagnant water which has created the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes!
According to Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services (MCDES), mosquitoes are widespread right now. Every week, MCDES crews deploy 800 traps across known problem areas around the county. They bring those traps back to a lab to sort the mosquitoes by males and females. If adult mosquitoes are discovered in those traps, Vector Control will return to fog or spray those areas with chemicals to help control the population.
MCDES says adult female mosquitoes are the biggest concern because they can bite and transmit diseases like West Nile. So far, there have been 184 mosquito samples which tested positive for West Nile. There have also been 20 human cases of West Niles. Symptoms of West Nile are similar to the flu and on rare occasions, it can be deadly.
MCDES is asking for your help and working to educate the public on the best way to combat with mosquitoes. Everyone is encouraged to walk around your property and get rid of any standing water that you can. Pay close attention to everything that can collect water. Something as small as a water bottle cap can breed hundreds of mosquitoes.
“Make sure they check even potted plants, pets’ dishes, toys, if they have clutter in the backyard, tires or any buckets to make sure they empty those and clean those to not leave any mosquito eggs behind,” says MCDES Public Information Officer, Johnny Diloné.
In addition, some people will say that they are a mosquito magnet. Experts say, there is some truth behind that. Research shows Type-O blood, dark clothing, body heat and sweat from exercising, certain types of bacteria on the skin, pregnancy, consuming beer, and heavy breathing will lure the nasty pests in your direction.
If you are feeling extra itchy from those mosquito bites, use calamine lotion or over the counter hydrocortisone cream can help provide some relief.
More information about MCDES or how to manage with mosquitoes, check out their website Fight The Bite – Mosquito Hotline or call 602-506-0700.