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Fighting mosquitoes after tropical heat

High heat, high humidity, and plenty of rain. It’s been the perfect mix to explode the mosquito population. But with a dry week ahead, local spraying companies are catching up.
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - One-third of this summer has been spent in the rain, and in 90-degree heat. And with a tropical environment comes an uphill battle against mosquitoes.

Judy Baumgartner is the office manager for Mosquito Joe. She tells 13abc, “With over 12 inches of rain in the past three months, it’s been a tough situation that we’ve been in.”

It’s been tough to the point of canceling work for technicians with mosquito joe, and sometimes it can force them to bug out for days.

“A couple of weeks ago, out of a 5-day workweek, we only sprayed a day and a half,” Baumgartner says. “And when we have 110-130 sprays a day, that tends to put us back very, very quickly.”

In fact, business has been so delayed, employees have had to add a day of work each week. She explains, “On a normal year, very rarely do we work a Saturday. Unless we have event sprays, graduation parties, things like that that we need to take care of, otherwise we don’t work Saturdays.”

She says they’ve had to work most Saturdays this season. So, we’re seen weather that encourages the mosquitoes to multiply but keeps the technicians inside.

Shane Pfaff is a Mosquito Joe technician. He says, “It’s been very busy, they’re just out like crazy, and if you live out in Perrysburg or further out, they’re just way bigger and there’s a lot more of them.” Baumgartner adds, “The perfect storm is heat, wet, and humidity and you can almost hear the mosquitoes hatching.”

Looking ahead to this week, we’ll finally see a stretch of dry weather; the perfect conditions to help sprayers get caught back up.

But as the mosquitoes buzz, there’s the concern for West Nile Virus. West Nile was discovered in Findlay earlier this week according to the city, and the Ohio Health Department says it’s been in Lucas County since June. But you can help keep the numbers down in your backyard.

Baumgartner says, “We call it ‘tip and toss’. So, if you see anything with standing water, toss that. Get rid of that standing water.”

Along with working Saturdays, technicians are also working longer days to catch up. If you’re trying out a yard spraying company for the first time, Baumgartner warns that the first spray won’t get rid of all mosquitoes, but about 85% of them.

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