WICHITA, Kansas – Recent rain has allowed the mosquito population to explode.
“We’ve seen quite a few size, but we’ve seen a lot of them hanging out around the windows and stuff so that’s kinda why I know there’s gonna be more,” said Stephanie Uffendell, out at a local park in Wichita.
For parents and homeowners, the three D’s for preventing mosquito bites are well known.
They are drain, dress and deet.
“I think with all the rain this year, and the mosquitoes that are so bad, I want to protect me and my family from West Nile and any other diseases,” commented Uffendell.
“The City of Wichita Environmental Health used to spray years ago. It’s been over 10 years and funding was just cut that the state received, and they were unable to fund that program any longer,” said Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, Sedgwick County Health Department.
Although they aren’t able to spray anymore, officials teamed up with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to make a new plan focusing on monitoring.
They set up nine traps throughout Wichita to keep track of the pests and sending weekly reports to health department.
“By monitoring mosquito populations, we can tell where and when we’ve got the greatest potential for West Nile Virus to be transmitted,” said Christopher Rogers, Kansas Biological Survey.
While many think all mosquitoes are the same, experts say there are more than 30 types of mosquitoes and only some can give the virus.
County and city officials say if 20 trapped mosquitoes can pass on the virus, or if one mosquito actually has the virus, they take action.
“When we see peaks then we work with the city of Wichita, and those areas are targeted with staff putting dunks down,” said Byrne-Lutz.
With the third wettest June on record for Wichita, it could be a few more weeks before we see the ultimate effects.
“I do think we’re gonna see a lot more mosquitoes this year than we did last year with all this rain whether or not we’re going to see more West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes,” said Rogers, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see.”
To find out how effective bug repellent is, click here.