Squashing early spring mosquito presence

Published: Mar. 27, 2012 at 2:34 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Could it be March mosquito madness?  You may have noticed the little airborne critters are out earlier this year.

"Kill 'em. Kill the mosquitoes," says Henry Brown with the City of Montgomery's maintenance crew.

Four nights a week crews spray Montgomery's neighborhoods with mosquito fighting chemicals.

"I hate mosquitoes," says Montgomery resident, Natalie Panciera.

She already got her first bite of the season.

"It was bad. We were just standing outside grilling and then they came outa nowhere."

It's a fact--health officials say mosquitoes emerged sooner with our early spring weather.

"It means there's gonna be that many more mosquitoes," says Montgomery resident David Harris.

While it may seem that way, state health officials aren't convinced. They believe rather than producing more, the heat just means they're out more.

"I guess that's just a blessing of living in the south...the state bird," adds Harris.

"It has rained a lot.  Mosquitoes love that standing water," adds Panciera.

Believe it or not, mosquitoes can breed in less water than it takes to fill up your hand--which means any standing water around your home is fair game.

"I definitely look for that," says Panciera.

Some quick tips for getting rid of standing water:

--Empty water from anything that can hold rainwater like cans, jars and tires.

--Clean clogged gutters

--Replenish water bowls for pets and rinse bird baths

"The reality is they carry diseases...and we have to be careful," says Panciera.

Health officials say there are typically cases of West Nile Disease in Alabama every year.

While they don't expect them to spike this season, they say the best thing you can do is wear bug repellent and avoiding perfumes that attract bugs.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.