REDMOND, OR -- Certain areas within Central Oregon are suddenly seeing the return of mosquitoes this week. Chad Stubblefield, Director of the Four Rivers Vector Control District in South County, tells KBND News the biggest problems so far this season are in areas near farm and ranch land. "They’re flood irrigating their pastures and that is THE reason the mosquitoes are so bad in those areas – northeast and northwest Redmond, Alfalfa, East Bend and Madras, they create a lot of mosquito habitat with their farming."
Stubblefield says our mild winter, followed by a wet spring, and then sudden hot temperatures created ideal conditions for a thriving mosquito population. "So what we found is that the swamps were melted in January, but normally, they’re thawing in March or April, even. What that did, is it allowed mosquitoes to hatch out when normally they would be dormant until spring came. We were consistently finding second in-star larva the first week of March." He says they usually don’t even see first-stage larva until the end of March, although cold temperatures kept mosquitoes at bay until temperatures spiked this past week.
He says, there are things people can do to mitigate the problem. "Really what you can do is make sure you’re not creating more of a problem around your house – all of the standing water, flower pots, buckets, tires, clogged gutters. You know, mosquitoes can grow in a thimble of water if it stands for a week or so. Get rid of all the standing water. The best thing you can do is just avoid peak biting hours – one hour before and after sunset." Stubblefield admits, though, if they’re hungry and reproducing, they’ll bite anytime of day, and once temperatures hit 90, like we have been this week, mosquitoes can mature from egg to flying in a week.
He suggests a repellent that includes Deet, Picaridin or IR-35-35. If the little bugs are unbearable in your area, Stubblefield says you can call a pest control company and request a barrier treatment around your property, which can provide some relief for up to 30 days.