WICHITA, Kan. With plenty of standing water still around after last week's rain and warming temperatures, you can expect to soon see more mosquitoes.
Cropped Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0
Experts that spoke with Eyewitness News Wednesday say it doesn't take much standing water to serve as a primary breeding ground for mosquitoes. To keep them at bay as best you can this summer, they advise getting rid of as much standing water as you can, while you still can and to remember the three D's: "dress, drain and deet."
The three D's remind you to be mindful of what you are wearing and skin your'e exposing around mosquitoes, how much standing water is around that needs drained and the spray you use to combat the insects. Deet is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents.
Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne issues a reminder that mosquitoes aren't just nuisances.
Last year, she says Sedgwick County had two cases of West Nile Virus and Kansas overall had more than 40 cases.
Byrne says the culex mosquito is a known carrier of West Nile and starting each May, Sedgwick County sets out mosquito traps to identify mosquitoes throughout the peak season.
"It's important to monitor whenever we know that diseases can be in the area," Byrne says.
Culex mosquitoes and other varieties of the insect begin to thrive after a week of temperatures exceed 50 degrees.
But while it's beneficial to know if potentially-disease-carrying mosquitoes are in the area, Byrne says preventing them from biting you should be a priority for everyone. She says that starts by getting rid of or treating all that standing water.
"Bird baths, old tires that might be in their yard, anything with standing water is going to need to be drained daily, or put fresh water in," Byrne says. "if someone has a pond or a body of water near their house, they can buy a mosquito larvaside."
In Reno County, people can visit the health department and pick up free mosquito dunks to place in ponds and standing water around their homes to prevent mosquito larva from hatching.