News 12 First at Five / Thursday, May 9, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you've been outside lately, you've probably started swatting those pesky mosquitoes, which are rearing their ugly little heads a little early this year.
Fred Koehle with Richmond County Mosquito Control showed us some problem areas around Richmond County for mosquito breeding, like old swimming pools.
"The size of this pool, it can produce about 3 to 4 million mosquitoes per season," Koehle said.
Richmond County has close to 200 swimming pools that are no longer in use that are holding water and enticing mosquitoes to come lay eggs.
You may have already spotted and swatted a few of those pesky blood suckers. You can thank all of the rain we've been having for the early appearance.
"With the amount of rain we've had, there have been continuous hatchings going on," Koehle said.
All of that standing rainwater around your house in tires, gutters or watering cans can all be perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
"If you've got a problem with mosquitoes, 9 times out of 10, you or one of your neighbors is raising them," Koehle said.
But even though rain has started the mosquito season early, rain throughout the summer could help make mosquito season more bearable.
"If we don't get the rain, the eggs will just lie there dormant until it does rain. And then if we have a couple of months of dry spell, all those eggs hatch at once. Which is what happened last year," he said.
Last year was a particularly rough mosquito season for our area with three cases of West Nile in Richmond County, three in Columbia County and five in Aiken County, one of which was fatal. And it doesn't look like West Nile will be taking a break this summer, either.
"We just got notice today from Tennessee that they've found West Nile virus in Shelby County," he said.