May showers are bringing June mosquitoes this year in Utah County.
“It’s abundant,” said Dan Miller, the mosquito abatement director of the Utah County Health Department Mosquito Abatement District. “We are going to have lots of mosquitoes.”
The mosquito abatement district began spraying for mosquitoes the second week of June after surveillance trapping earlier in the month showed that mosquito numbers had exceeded the department’s threshold to begin spraying.
Trucks have been going out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The department has not begun spraying by plane.
Miller anticipates seeing a banner year for mosquitoes after an extremely wet spring.
The department found a large amount of larvae when it began inspecting water in April. It began trapping after Memorial Day.
The department will begin spraying if it finds 100 mosquitoes in a single trap, or if it finds 1,000 of the breed of mosquitoes that carries the West Nile virus. It will also begin spraying if it finds 1,500 nuisance mosquitoes.
Miller said the total number of mosquitoes found in their traps jumped from 800 to 3,500 as the weather warmed.
“It was very predictable because of the temperatures going up,” he said.
The mosquitoes are caught in carbon dioxide-baited traps, gathered, frozen, counted and tested for the West Nile virus.
The virus has not been found in Utah County mosquitoes this year. Miller said it takes about three weeks worth of 95 degree weather for the virus to transmit from birds to mosquitoes.
Miller suspects mosquito numbers will mimic 2011’s summer, when the weather was also filled with lower temperatures and plenty of rain.
He’s had people in Lehi, Saratoga Springs, Vineyard and Goshen call and ask this season for help with mosquito abatement, but said he’s limited by what the department can do.
“There is only so much chemical we can put in an area and in a season, and when we hit that limit, we’re done,” Miller said.
Miller suggests removing standing water to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding. He also recommends checking screens on windows and doors to help keep mosquitoes out, and to wear mosquito repellent when going outside after dark.
Residents can request assistance with mosquitoes from the Health Department by calling (801) 851-7637.