East Texans can expect wealth of mosquitoes again

Belinda Warren, Owner of Mosquito Terminators
Belinda Warren, Owner of Mosquito Terminators

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A mild winter and a wet spring is the perfect breeding ground for bugs and many experts are saying this is going to be the year of the mosquito.

Last year's West Nile Virus boom was one of the worst mosquito spells we have seen in awhile, and experts say the period of the mosquito is far from over.

"We have already started treating and we've already been getting phone calls for people that are seeing mosquitoes and getting bit so this is going to be extremely early for us right now," said Belinda Warren, the owner of Mosquito Terminators in Lufkin.

Cary Sims, a county extension agent for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for Angelina County says mosquitoes, spiders and maybe even love bugs are expected to be bad this year.

"We're seeing a lot more insects because we had a mild winter and we started off with a lot of moisture in the spring. Your bug populations are largely affected by your environment. A mild winter is a big precursor to a lot of insect populations," Sims said.

There are over fifty different types of mosquitoes in East Texas, Sims told KTRE news, and while some live in marshlands and wooded areas, the worst ones live in our backyards because of standing water.

"The mosquito is the dangerous insect that we need to be concerned about. The spider; he's beneficial. He's the fellow or she's the one that is going to eat other insects. While spiders creep us out it is the mosquito that is the danger to us," Sims said.

The best way to get rid of the mosquito is to drain standing water.

"Do not allow any standing water around your house. Tarps that collect water over boats, or swimming pools, buckets just rain buckets. If you happen to be standing around just watering, cans for your plants make sure they are empty. Even pet bowls. I would suggest that you empty that water and refill it each day just to keep from having that water standing cause that's what they love the most is any type of standing water," Warren said.

Mosquitoes love to live inside water and leaf-filled bird baths, gutters that fail to drain properly, tires, buckets, rain barrels, and uncapped steel fence posts.

Sims says mosquitoes are the most dangerous bugs because they carry disease.  The best time to avoid outdoor activities is during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more prevalant. He also says parents should make sure kids are sprayed with bug spray.

Other ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to make sure to spray outside your homes with home products or extermination companies.

"What we need to do in our own yards and landscapes is to make sure we eliminate all standing water and if we have standing water like in a bird bath that we at least change it weekly," Sims said.

Warren says sometimes the chemicals they use will also kill spiders.

"We have had clients tell us that they have noticed a lot of dead spiders around their property after we sprayed, but we don't guarantee those, but it looks like it is affective on those and it can also help with flies. It just reduces them and it doesn't eliminate them," Warren said.

Warren says she also specializes in getting rid of fleas and ticks and the chemicals will last about 21 days.

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