Experts report increase in mosquito population across Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation said mosquito populations are increasing across the state after all the storms in June.

“Once the rain stopped, [we’ve seen] a lot of mosquitos, especially in the front yard,” said Dan Singh, who lives near a neighborhood pond. “I’ve never seen that many mosquitoes here, with the pond being close by.”

Singh said his family have been bombarded with mosquitoes. The problem was so bad, he called a pest control company for help.

“My kids have been bitten a lot. Got a lot of mosquito bites because they move around and take the dogs for a walk,” he said.

Justin Talley, an OSU Entomologist, said the Floodwater Mosquitoes we’re seeing now don’t usually carry the West Nile Virus. However, he stresses they can be dangerous for your dog.

“You need to make sure your pets are protected from dog heartworm transmission,” he said.

Talley said the types of mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus usually come out in the later summer and early spring.

The 4Warn Storm Team said Oklahoma closed out the month of June with more than seven inches of rain. That’s three inches more than an average month.

The deluge of water left behind plenty of standing water for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Talley said those pests can breed in as little water as a bottle cap can hold.

Talley said male mosquitoes don’t bite humans, but instead feed on flowering plants. That’s why he said it’s important your arms and legs aren’t the only things that need bug spray.

“So even if you put something on yourself, you’re only repelling or controlling 50% of the population at most,” said Talley. “If you put something on those plants, that can kill those. You may have an impact.”

“Any kind of standing water you can get rid of, we encourage people to do that,” said Micah Holmes, with the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation.

Holmes said standing water is not just out in the open. He said Oklahomans should pay close attention to flower pots, gutters, and even puddles on the sidewalk.

He said using bug spray with deet, wearing long sleeves, and a cool breeze can help.

“Sometimes those mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers,” said Holmes. “So, if you can keep a breeze going of some kind that will help.”

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