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Fight the Bite: Mosquitoes swarming in Lucas County

Recent heavy rains and humidity leads to a spike in pest mosquitoes
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:49 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After a dry spring, mosquitoes are out in full force across Lucas County.

According to the Toledo Area Sanitary District, the weather has played a huge role in the population spike.

“Unfortunately with the last couple weeks of heavy rain, we do see now a lot of water standing in yards,” said Jacob Sublett, a biologist with TASD. “That’s created a lot of mosquito-breeding habitats. So over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a bit increase in the adult mosquito population.”

Sublett explained how there are two main types of mosquito: “floodwater mosquitoes,” which swarm after a heavy rain -- and container-breeding mosquitoes, which are more likely to carry diseases.

“We did see a big flush-out of those container-breeding mosquitoes because those containers did get washed out from all that rain,” explained Sublett. “That’s some good news, because those mosquitoes are often the ones we associate with disease concern. So we have seen a decrease in those mosquitoes, but again, the ones folks are probably noticing right now are nuisance or pest mosquitoes. Those are the ones that often like to bite people more. And we have seen a big increase in those over the last couple weeks.”

That means Lucas County residents are less likely to contract the West Nile Virus, which was detected in the county last month.

“We have seen some positive mosquitoes come back for West Nile from the lab, but it’s a lot lower than what we would typically see this time in the year,” added Sublett. “With that in mind, I don’t want to say that there is no risk, but there is still a chance.”

With more biting pest mosquitoes on the hunt, how does one protect themselves? The TASD offers some tips to avoid getting bitten:

  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion.
  • Use colognes and perfumes sparingly.
  • Use mosquito repellent.
  • Dispose of open containers which can fill with water.

The county also offers free services to help curb the mosquito population. Fogging services have been increased throughout Lucas County. You can view where crews have sprayed through the Toledo Mosquito website.

TASD also works to clear drainage and stream blockages that can cause flooding, and create a place for mosquito breeding. They will also deliver mosquitofish for ponds, inspect areas for larvae, and host educational presentations to schools and groups.

You can also request service at your home or business online. For more information, call 419-726-7891 or visit toledomosquito.org.

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