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Experts explain why this mosquito season could be worst for Arizonans

Maricopa County is asking residents to be prepared for these pesky insects.

MESA, Ariz. — Annoying, relentless, and thirsty for blood.

Mosquito season has started in Arizona, and with all the rain and snowmelt coming into Maricopa County, these pests may be out in full force.

Johnny Diloné, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Environmental Services, said right now, the rain and flood waters are actually helping the situation by washing away the mosquito eggs. However, once the water starts to dry out, leaving puddles behind, that's when the problem begins to happen.

Mosquitos use that stagnant water to lay eggs that can hatch within a week. Diloné says they don't need much.

“Even the cap of a water bottle,” he said

Already, the county monitors thousands of mosquito hotspots in the Valley and treats them with fogging or other measures when necessary. What could also make this mosquito season worse for Arizonans is birds flocking to the Valley because of all the rain.

>> VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Expertos explican por qué esta temporada de mosquitos pudiera ser la peor para los arizonenses  

“There’s a lot of food for birds out there," Diloné said. "A lot of vegetation and a lot of rain, so we may be seeing a large bird population which then could result in a lot of mosquito activity.”

The reason why this is a problem, Diloné said is because the mosquitos receive diseases like the West Nile virus from birds. Once the mosquitos are infected, they transfer it to other animals and humans.

“That’s when they start spreading viruses,” Diloné said.

While Diloné said the county is working all year to prevent mosquito populations from growing, he said it comes down to people taking precautions themselves  - like ensuring there is no standing water in their backyard or near their home. He gave examples of a flower pot or a water bowl for a pet.

For more information on how to stop mosquitos from breeding near you or to complain about mosquitos in your area, click here for the official Maricopa County page.

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