News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, May 24, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A warm summer day can quickly turn dangerous in a matter of seconds when they start to come.
"It's annoying enough to make you want to pack up and go back in the house," said Gayle Vincent, who's visiting Augusta.
She's talking about the mosquitoes responsible for those itchy bites.
"You just want to scratch your skin off," she said.
And even worse, they can carry deadly disease.
"We're finding more and more viruses and bacteria that are carried by bugs," she said.
She and her partner spent the day at Phinizy Swamp.
They're traveling all the way from Rhode Island and taking a tour of the South, braving the bites and taking in the sights.
"You sit somewhere at a park like this, oh I've come home and just had my legs all bitten up," she said.
It's an ideal breeding ground for creatures like these, but it's not just the swamp.
"Any warm water, any kind of stagnant water, we're loaded with them," Vincent said.
"A swimming pool, a normal size swimming pool, can produce an excess of half a million mosquitoes in a season," said Fred Koehlee, who works for Mosquito Control.
A number that's too big for Koehle, considering many of those mosquitoes are carrying life-threatening diseases.
"Last year, we were hit with West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and we're trying to prepare ourselves for that this year," Koehle said.
They're using home-made mosquito traps to learn more about the enemy.
"So we know what types of diseases we have and in what particular area," he said.
Koehle says you need to take a look in your own backyard.
"What we can do is try to get people educated to start to look around, look at the gutters on their roof," he said.
All to keep away the bites as the summer season begins.
"I think it would be a more enjoyable place, yeah," Vincent said.