Make sure you're not breeding mosquitoes

Make sure you're not breeding mosquitoes

PORTLAND, Ore. - Summer’s here and so are those nasty mosquitoes.

The long, wet spring and the sudden increase in temperatures have caused a major increase in mosquitoes too.

But you could be breeding mosquitoes in your own backyard and local biologists want you to take action to shut down the breeding grounds that could spawn insects with diseases.

Biologist George Cashdollar with Clackamas County Vector Control uses traps to catch mosquitoes, and then he studies larva samples to keep an eye out for West Nile virus.

Since it was a wet spring, he says you may be growing them in your yard. He says the prime spots to watch are base dishes on flower pots, bird baths, rain barrels, clogged gutters, and leaky hoses and sprinklers.

But that’s not all. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in boats, pools, hot tubs - anything covered in tarp - and bushes like blackberries.

“And the shelter is a place where there’s not going to be a lot of wind,” Cashdollar says. “Since we have a lot of ivy growing in the Pacific Northwest (and the) Portland-metropolitan area, that’s an area they really like to go.”

Cashdollar says the worry is that people could end up with more than annoying bites: they could foster an environment where mosquitoes carry diseases like the West Nile virus.

“People really need to keep mosquito control and awareness of mosquitoes at the forefront,” he says.

Some things you can do to control mosquitoes is to get mosquito-eating fish. Some counties offer them for free. And since mosquitoes don’t like the wind, setting up a fan or two may also help keep them away.

Clackamas County will also offer a free anti-mosquito calendar at its upcoming fair. The calendar has year-round information on mosquitoes and what to watch out for.

For more information go to here for links to your county.  

Also, find out about long-lasting insect repellents.