Flooding leads to more mosquitoes in Hamilton County
Last month was the 12th wettest, and second warmest on record, which means more mosquitoes are in the area compared to this time last year.
The owner of Mosquito Squad says this time of year his crew is typically slowing down, but these weather conditions create a perfect environment for mosquitoes.
Each morning a two-person crew loads up and heads out to spray for mosquitoes.
Brad Ledford says heat and rain entice these pests. He says more mosquitoes are in the area because of last month's flooding in Hamilton County.
Our Channel 3 meteorologists say the Chattanooga airport picked up more than seven inches of rain just last month.
“Yesterday morning, we got at least 20 or 30 calls before lunch,” said Brad Ledford.
Ledford says right now they see flood water types of mosquitoes. He says these bugs lay eggs years earlier, and the eggs hatch when there's significant rainwater.
“The egg, larva, and pupa have to live in water. If it dries up they are going to die off,” said Ledford.
Ledford says mosquitoes will be here until the first frost. He says to get rid of all the standing water to keep them away.
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“Shake out all those tarps. Dump out all the water buckets, kids toys, and trash cans. Team up with your neighbors,” said Ledford.
Ledford's crew spray a permethrin-based product around the lawn. They also spray trees to reach the mosquitoes that live higher up.
“You'll see almost immediate relief. Then there's also a residual quality to it as well. This product will last for three weeks,” said Ledford.
Ledford says it's okay to do this yourself if you follow the directions. He says tiki torches or citronella candles work, but they have a downside.
“You get a very small radius around those candles or tiki torches. It won't be effective,” said Ledford.
Ledford says if you're going to an area that was affected by flooding, it's best to wear long sleeves, pants or use "Off" bug spray.