Large Mosquito Population Expected in Georgia

7/23/2013, 4:08 p.m.
Scientists are predicting a large mosquito population in Georgia during the next few weeks.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Scientists are predicting a large mosquito population in Georgia during the next few weeks.

Elmer Gray, an entomologist with the University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension Service, says the nuisance mosquitoes are expected to be particularly bad in coming weeks.

However, Gray said the type of mosquitoes expected to attack Georgians in increasing numbers are not the primary carriers of West Nile virus.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/16UhI8i) that the Southern house mosquito, one of dozens of mosquito species in Georgia, is the vector for West Nile virus. They breed in places like storm sewers. The recent heavy rains have flushed them out, leaving their populations low for now.

Peak season for West Nile virus is from about mid-August to mid-September he said.

“Most people associate mosquito bites with the itchy red bumps they leave behind, but these pests also transmit West Nile Virus,” said Shay Runion, Arrow Pest Expert. “The population is only going to increase over the next few months,” continues Runion, “mosquitoes breed very quickly in stagnant water only taking 10 to 14 days to develop from an egg into an adult.”

To help homeowners protect their families from a mosquito infestation this year, Arrow Exterminators recommends the following simple, proactive measures:

• Eliminate sources of standing water such as children's wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots;

• Keep rain gutters cleaned out and properly draining away from the home;

• Cut back or remove unnecessary vegetation around the home where mosquitoes nest;

• When swimming pools aren’t in use, keep them covered to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs;

• Remove water that has collected in tree holes and hollow stumps;

• Screen windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside homes; and

• Consider using yellow bug light bulbs in outdoor light fixtures – the bulbs reduce the number of flying insects around your home by emitting a soft yellow light that these pests can’t see.

• Contact a local Pest Control Professional to see if they offer Mosquito Control Services in your area.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com.