Clark County officials say the county is seeing seven times more mosquitoes than average thanks to increased rainfall this year, but they're working to keep residents safe.

Clark County mosquito population spikes to seven times normal numbers

The Clark County Combined Health District is warning people to take proper precautions after the district discovered the mosquito population has exploded in certain parts of the county.

Traps set by the health district in areas north and southwest of Springfield showed close to seven times the number of mosquitoes in the county compared to the same time in 2018.

The number of mosquitoes trapped is also the highest since the health district started trapping them four years ago, according to the health district.

“Sometimes you can’t even see them because they’re in tall grass, but they’re growing mosquitoes,” said Director of Environmental Health, Larry Shaffer.

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The finger is being pointed at the area’s increased rainfall this year. Storm Center 7 meteorologists crunched the numbers and said by this time in the year, Springfield receives an average of 16.49” of rainfall — but in 2019, the total already sits at 26.66.”

But Shaffer said the health district is working to get ahead of the problem.

Over the next couple of months, staff will be spreading larvicide, in the form of tiny granules, in 8-10 of the county’s ponds that are known to have mosquito problems.

The larvicide, which is safe to humans and wildlife, stops breeding before it starts and the effects last about a couple of months. The health district also misting affected areas with Duet and distributing informational flyers to residents.

But there are a lot of steps that individuals can take to fight the problem too.

The health district is encouraging people to get rid of standing water around their homes — like pet bowls and bird baths.

Anyone with a pool can buy packs of discs, that look like donuts, at a local hardware store that also prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. Those usually last for a few days.

Families are also encouraged to spray down with bug spray every time before going outside.

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The health district said when buying a spray, people should look for the active ingredient, DEET. That’s the best bet at keeping those pests away.

Lori Rahrle was out enjoying the weather on Wednesday at Veteran’s Park with her grandkids. She said she was shocked when she learned more mosquitoes were out to play, too.

She said she sprays the kids down with natural sprays that have Citronella in them, but sometimes the risk isn’t even worth that.

“If (the mosquitoes) are real bad, I just stay inside,” Rahrle said.

Her granddaughter, Della Mertens had some wise words for only being seven-years-old.

“Just put bug spray all around me and wear some safe clothes,” she said.

The ‘mosquito season’ ranges from late May until September or sometimes even the first frost of October.

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