San Diego can expect a “bumper crop” of mosquitoes starting as early as March because of the exceptionally heavy winter rains.
The warning came as 1,200 members of the American Mosquito Control Association wrapped up their annual meeting Friday in San Diego.
“In all likelihood, you’re going to have a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year,” said Jon Conlon, technical director and spokesman for the nonprofit association based in New Jersey.
Any flooding this weekend will exacerbate the potential for mosquitoes. “As the flooding recedes, it’s going to leave pockets of water that are perfect breeding points,” Conlon said.
He said eggs laid by mosquitoes will start hatching as soon as temperatures stay above 55 to 60 degrees. That could happen as early as March, and mosquito control districts throughout California are gearing up to deal with swarms, he said.
Officials in San Diego are particularly concerned about insects carrying the Zika and West Nile viruses.
Conlon said the most mosquitoes will likely be found in San Diego County’s inland valleys, but the insects are increasingly found in urban areas as well.
The mosquito control association recommends the following precautions:
- Drain standing water. Empty bird baths, turn over open containers and make sure pools and spas are properly chlorinated.
- Dress properly. Mosquitoes are drawn to dark clothing, and can bite through tight fitting garments, so wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
- Use insect repellent. Make sure it’s registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: