Recent flooding and storms attracting mosquitoes

Recent flooding and storms attracting mosquitoes
West Nile has been reported in the Pine Belt. Photo credit WDAM.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The start of May means we are getting closer to mosquito season.

With the recent storms in the Pine Belt, standing water may bring the pesky insects closer.

"Most of the mosquitoes in our area need standing water to lay their eggs in. Anytime that you have a flood, you've got vast amounts of water in the area that don't have natural predators for mosquitoes," said Mosquito Marshals owner Josh Neely.

That allows mosquitoes to survive and multiply because of the lack of predators. We did not experience a strong winter this past year, and that helps mosquitoes as well.

"We normally experience a hard freeze at some point during the winter. That helps kill off some of the eggs and larva that were laid the year before. We didn't really experience that last year, so we're more than likely going to experience a higher than usual population," said Neely.

A warm winter increases the chances of the mosquito population rising, but standing water is still the number one attraction for mosquitoes.

"There are some species of mosquitoes that their eggs will lay dormant until water hits them," said Neely. "We're really going to start seeing them once those eggs hatch in a day or two."

"There are certain areas where mosquitoes are going to spend a majority of their time. You definitely don't want any buckets or any little pots holding water," said Ledrew King Owner of Mosquito eliminators.