Drought, heavy rain and heat have more mosquitoes in the Tennessee Valley
If you feel like you've been battling blood sucking bugs all summer long, you're not alone.
Experts say a combination of drought, heavy rain and heat have more mosquitoes flying around this season.
Those conditions probably sound familiar, for us here in the Tennessee Valley, and may be the reason we're being hit with three year's worth of bugs in just one summer.
"Do you have any time to eat lunch these days?
"Not really. We've been busy, a full plate everyday," said Brad Ledford, Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga.
Brad Ledford says the four-year-old business is booming for Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga. They're taking more calls than they ever have.
"It's been a battle all year," said Ledford.
So if you think you're the only one running from car to house to avoid minor blood loss and a pesky scratch you have a lot of company.
"Female mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water," said Ledford.
This summer is the perfect storm scenario for mosquito breeding. Chattanooga is already well over its yearly average of rain. So with more rain the mosquitoes breed more, to do that, they need our blood to fuel the drive. Creepy right?
"Usually about 4 or 5 days after a heavy rain our phones will ring more, that's about how long it takes them to hatch," said Ledford.
Ledford says another reason there's so many, some eggs can stay dormant for 3 to 4 years, and massive amounts of rain like we've seen will cause them to hatch. To help curb the bite, Ledford preaches the "5T" program you can do at home, tip, turn, toss, tarp and treat.
"Tip over anything that's holding water, toss out any old grass clippings. Turn over things that are holding water. If you've got tarps over a pile of wood, if it's not tight it will hold water and it's a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed," said Ledford.
And treat, you can find pesticides at hardware stores or call a company like the Mosquito Squad.
Ledford treats every three weeks and says it will eliminate roughly 85 percent of the problem.
In the meantime he says wear loose clothing and find a good bug spray.
Peak season for mosquitoes ends in October, when cooler temperatures kill them off. Companies are usually back out spraying, in April.