Warm weather and rain blamed for mosquito infestations
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Recent heavy rains and warm temperatures are being blamed for a huge amount of mosquitoes in Hamilton County.
Last month was the second warmest September in 139 years. October has started out with near record warmth, as well. Those temperatures paired with up to 12 inches of rain have produced a near perfect breeding ground for fat, feasting flood water mosquitoes.
“I’ve been in business nine years, and I’ve never had uptick like this in October ever,” said Brad Ledford, owner of Mosquito Squad.
If you mention mosquitoes to residents of Soddy Daisy and Hixson especially, you’ll most likely get the same reaction.
“I never remember them being this bad,” Soddy Daisy resident Haley Williams said.
“They swarm you as soon as you go outside. It’s really bad,” said Meredith Franks, who live in Hixson.
“You can’t even go outside really,” East Brainerd resident Justin Jefferson said.
Ledford said he’s being swarmed by mosquitoes when he gets out of his truck.
“The phone just constantly rings with existing customers just wanting a little extra since the mosquito pressures are so high. We’ve got probably 15 new customers just this week,” Ledford said.
According to Ledford, these mosquitoes are slightly different from the ones common in July and August.
“A majority of the mosquitoes that we are seeing are the flood water mosquitoes. And they are a little vicious.These eggs might’ve been laid several years past, but they can stay viable for several years – the flood water species type. So they can hatch whenever it floods again,” Ledford said.
Years ago, Hamilton County sprayed the area for mosquitoes, but have since stopped due to its ineffectiveness. The Health Department says the most effective way of reducing mosquitoes is eliminating breeding sites — like dumping out standing water on your property.
“My daughter fell asleep in the car one night. And there was a mosquito in the car and when she got home, she had like eight to ten bites all over her face,” Franks said.
For many Hamilton County residents, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather outside comes at a price.
“We’re praying for some cold weather, freezing temperatures to kill them,” Franks said.
Ledford says if spraying the yard and insect repellent aren’t working, try a big box fan. He says mosquitoes can’t fly in the heavy winds of the fan, and it might provide temporary relief if you want to enjoy your patio or deck.