Socks with sandals, that single popcorn skin that sticks to the back of your tongue and the whistle your nose sometimes makes when you breathe in are all things that just bug me. Lately, though, what bugs me most are nature’s bloodsucking drones, the mosquitos.
Do you like going through a bottle of mosquito repellant in a couple of days? Do you like red, swollen, itchy bumps plaguing your skin? Do you like spending the beginning of your summer hiding out in the safety of your home, free from flying, pesky bloodsuckers? Neither do I.
This year, we have seen an insane number of mosquitos attacking us night and day, all over Utah. The biggest problem areas are those around bodies of standing water, marshy areas, swampland and agricultural areas that receive and retain a lot of moisture.
The cities of Hooper, Plain City, Warren, Taylor, West Weber, Willard, Perry, Brigham City and Corinne are all areas that have been hit the hardest with an overwhelming number of mosquitos. The reason for this has been the huge amount of rain that we have received this season.
When mosquitos lay their eggs, they do it in muddy areas where standing water exists. The eggs will sit there, waiting for a flood event. They can lay dormant for up to 10 years. The excessive moisture this season allowed those dormant mosquito eggs to hatch.
“It’s a unique situation,” said Tyson Packer, Assistant Director of Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District. “We were overwhelmed and way, way behind because of the sheer number of mosquitos.”
To attack the problem at hand, Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District and Weber Mosquito Abatement District have been working almost around the clock to try to get on top of the situation. Both offices have been out at night in their fogging trucks, canvasing the neighborhoods.
Tyson Packer explained the situation like this. In one acre of land, there can be easily one million mosquitos. When they spray, they kill about 90% of mosquitos, which leaves 10% alive. Out of one million mosquitos, that leaves 100,000 alive that are still out for blood. That is still an enormous problem for the abatement offices and the citizens being bitten.
Both offices have stated that they feel we are on the downward slope of the situation, and we should see the numbers drop drastically in the next week or two.
Ryan Arkoudas, Director of Weber Mosquito Abatement, stated, “There still is standing water out there. Now, what we see is there are two species of mosquitos that lay their eggs in standing water. These are different and will look for those ponds or marsh areas that are pretty much permanent water. They’ll lay their eggs there, and those will hatch. Those are the ones that can carry diseases like the West Nile Virus.”
If you are planning an outside event, you can contact your local abatement office and make a request for them to spray the area before the event.
“Our office has pretty well been empty for the last two weeks just because everybody’s been out doing something in the field outside, so our website is the best place to contact us for a spray request,” said Ryan Arkoudas.
Repellant is the best way to protect yourself from any mosquito, but you can also avoid areas that tend to have high populations of these pests, especially during dusk or dawn. The worst is almost over, but before you step out of your front door, you might want to reconsider putting on an ample supply of mosquito repellant.
To contact Weber Mosquito Abatement District, go to webermosquito.com.
To contact Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District, call (435) 723-3700.