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Buzz off, mosquitoes! Do they seem worse this year? Here's why, and what to do about it

Do the mosquitoes seem extra awful this year? It's not your imagination.

RICHMOND, Texas — Do the mosquitoes seem worse this year? They do for the Solomon family in Richmond, attacked by the little blood suckers at their daughter’s 3rd birthday party.

“We are all covered in probably 30 welts a piece,” said Mandy Solomon.

“Tiki torches, mosquito spray and none of it seems to work right now,” said Simon Solomon.

Sound familiar?

Gary Gillen with Gillen Pest Control in Richmond said they’ve been busier than usual for this time of year.

“The mosquitoes have been terrible,” Gillen said. “Normally we don’t have this kind of pressure...the populations that we are seeing until a bit later in the year.”

One reason, Gillen said, could be all the rain mixed with this past winter freeze.

“The wild animals froze during the freeze and are not here. These mosquitoes have nothing to eat except us," Gillen said.

Gillen has been fogging residential homes in Fort Bend County. The pesticides that are used do kill honeybees and butterflies. If you have them on your property, be careful where you treat. Also you can inform the county so that they skip over your address.

In Harris County, Chris Fredregill with Harris County Public Health says they’re not fogging yet. The mosquitoes they are seeing in their traps are what he calls nuisance mosquitoes; aggressive biters but they don’t carry viruses.

So here’s what you can do about these aggressive biters:

Look for any standing water around your property often. Trouble spots include dog bowls, gutters, children’s toys and tires. One capful of water can breed 100 mosquitoes.

Spray in and around bushes and shrubs, “mosquitoes, the ones that we are concerned about, live in those shrubs. It’s dark, it’s cool, it’s moist," Gillen said.

And don’t spritz yourself in DEET bug spray; slather yourself in it. Just be sure to read the directions and warnings on the cans before use.  

“It’s not that it repels mosquitoes; it camouflages your C02 so they can’t find you," Gillen said.

Gillen said to also manage your expectations.

“You are not going to be mosquito free, but we should be able to go out into our yard and enjoy what we have," he said.

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