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'Load up on repellent': Here’s how to get rid of mosquitoes

Entomologist Sonja Swiger says weeks-worth of rain has provided perfect conditions for mosquito eggs to hatch, and they're hatching quickly.

FORT WORTH, Texas — They are one sign of summer we could do without; mosquitoes have officially inundated Texas neighborhoods. 

Sonja Swiger, Texas A&M Extension entomologist, said the mosquito population is thriving more so than usual.

"That's obvious, right?" she said. "With all that rain we've had, we have a lot of water now, we have a lot of water standing, we have a lot of water in the ditches."

Swiger said all that water provides many more places and opportunities for mosquito larva to grow, and they're hatching quickly.

"The floodwater species grow in about a week," Swiger said of the most common mosquito we're seeing now. "They're more like five to seven days, they can go from egg to adult."

RELATED: Prepare to get bitten: Texas’s tough winter had no impact on mosquitoes

Ryan Robertson, who runs Tactical Mosquito Control with his father out of Arlington, said they've been busy. 

"I would say we've had a lot more phone calls than what's expected for this time of year," he said.

Robertson said this year's late warm-up is also contributing to the current pest prevalence.

"In order to get rid of that mosquito, you have to reduce water that's on your property in any way," he said.

Look for standing water anywhere you can, including bird baths, kiddie pools and buckets, and try to drain it. If you can't, he said there's a treatment you can put in the water to kill the larva.

Swiger said keeping grass cut and bushes trimmed helps too, because overgrown areas are perfect hiding places for mosquitoes. 

She said there is one silver lining to the main mosquitoes we're seeing now.

"We refer to them as floodwater species -- they don't carry diseases," she said.

She also mentioned this is not just a North Texas problem; the entire state is dealing with this.

Load up on repellent and citronella candles, because this is only the start of mosquito season.


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