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We know, it 'sucks’: Early start to rainy season means more mosquitoes

How to keep the pesky pests out of your yard, and what to do if you get bitten

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida is officially in its rainy season, so you might notice an uptick in those pesky pests: mosquitoes.

Trad's Pest Control said during this time of year they receive calls daily from people requesting help with controlling mosquitoes in and around their yards.

It's no secret that mosquitoes can be a nuisance as well as carriers of several different diseases.

Rainy season causes lots of standing water, which mosquitoes are attracted to.

"Our rainy season typically gets started around June. Not this year. It started much earlier in May. It started with some very heavy rainfall setting the stage to what we've seen: 8 to 10 inches of rain just this past weekend,” News4Jax Weather Authority Meteorologist Mark Collins said. “So that rain it's going to take a while to evaporate, especially since we've seen daily downpours each day.”

While mosquitoes are attracted to water, it's not the only place you can find them hiding in your yard.

"A lot of people think you have to have standing water, but they'll get into your mulches, they'll get into your gutters, they'll get in your plants to the leaves of the plants, they're in places that you typically just don't think you'll find mosquitoes," said George McCall, Trad's Pest Control Service Manager.

A few ways to protect you and your property from these insects:

  • Be proactive
  • Keep standing water away from your house at all times
  • Do regular maintenance
  • Plan ahead

Another treatment you can do is called the N2Care Mosquito System. It’s pet, kid, and pollinator safe.

"It prevents the mosquitoes from reproducing. And as they move around the yard, they transmit this to other places where standing water is, so it helps spread the control of the mosquito," said Denise Wartan, with Trad's Pest Control.

The News4Jax Weather Authority said it doesn't see any dry days ahead in the near future, so you can expect to have mosquitoes in abundance for a little while longer.

It is also recommended that you wear insect repellent, protective gear, and avoid going outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Entomologist and self- proclaimed “bug guy” Professor Michael Raupp joined us on “The Morning Show” via Zoom on Thursday to explain why some people seem to attract the bloodsuckers more than others and also to bus some myths about what works -- and doesn’t -- to keep them away. (Watch below)

Bites and Stings

Consumer Reports also shared some helpful information on how to treat insect bites and stings with items you already have around the house. Some of it might surprise you.

First, wash the bite or sting with soap and water, then apply a cold compress—a cold, damp washcloth or damp cloth wrapped around an ice pack—to the area.

“If the stinger is still in there, I tell patients to scrape over the area with a credit card to dislodge it, because if you use tweezers, you can pump venom back into the area,” said Dr. Kathryn Boling, a family medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

If you have meat tenderizer in your house, slap some on.

“It helps break down protein, and the venom in bug bites and stings is protein-based, so you won’t get as bad of a reaction,” she said.

An OTC antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) can ease any itching, and an OTC pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil and generic) may reduce swelling and pain.

Found a tick on your body but unsure whether you’ve been bitten? Remove the tick safely and regularly check the area of your body where you found the tick for several weeks after removal for rash.

Call your doctor: If any redness, pain, and swelling doesn’t begin resolving—or gets worse—after about 48 to 72 hours, see your doctor to make sure it’s not infected. In the several weeks after a possible tick bite, call your doctor if you develop a fever, or a rash near where you removed the critter. You may need to be tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Seek emergency care: If you develop symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), such as trouble breathing, tightness of the throat, hoarse voice, nausea, and vomiting.

Consumer Reports contributed to this report.


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