ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- St. Louis county officials say we had better brace for an extended mosquito season this year. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac have given a major re-start to mosquito hatching.
St. Louis county’s vector control department, which traps the bugs to test them for disease, says they’re seeing signs in the larva they’re finding that the peak mosquito time, which usually ends about now, could go more than a month longer.
“Usually we’re ready to shut things down mid-September, roll into the last couple of weeks and wind down the mosquito season” Drew Hane from the county health department said. “This year I can see us going well into the end of October.”
For companies like the Mosquito Squad, which spray private property for the bugs, it’s leading to a booming fall.
“The rain that was brought on by Isaac certainly caused some more mosquitoes to hatch and bloom and our phone has been ringing off the hook,” franchise owner Carson Baur said.
Baur says the biggest issue in keeping the mosquito surge to a minimum is a “back to the basics” approach when it comes to standing water around your home.
“We tell people to tip over their tarps any sort of open containers they have. A lot of people with children’ toys, those collect water in a rain storm. Keep those tipped. Gutters are a problem.”
Another issue with the extended mosquito season is the West Nile Virus. Nationally, cases have been way up this year, though there has only been one human case reported in our area.
Just the same, the presence of the virus is up over the past three years in mosquitoes captured and tested by the health department. That means a need to be careful, and to do it for an extra month this year.
“Wear your insect repellants, long sleeves, and light colored clothes and limit your time outside in the evening, overnight, and early morning hours,” Hane said.