Metro health officials fighting mosquitoes before summer heat - WSMV Channel 4

Metro health officials fighting mosquitoes before summer heat

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It may seem early in the year to be thinking about mosquitoes, but the Metro Health Department is already out testing for larvae.

The recent rain has created a lot of puddles, and when those heat up in the midday sun, it creates a perfect breeding ground for the summertime pests.

"People gotta clean their gutters out, bird baths, trash cans, kids toys," said John Pico, with the Metro Health Department.

So far, Pico says the weather hasn't gotten hot enough on a consistent basis for mosquito larvae to live in area streams. Still, he's still treating them with special granules called rickets, which stunt the growth of mosquito larvae for as much as five months in the areas that are treated.

"We just have to make sure we keep the mosquitoes at bay. Once an area like this keeps going, they'll blow up and the whole area around will be eaten up," Pico said.

Some unseasonably cool weather may have delayed the outbreak of mosquitoes this spring, but don't get too comfortable.

"We had a cold winter. It'll help, but you're going to need a lot of cold winters. Places like Alaska, Minnesota, they still have mosquitos. The cold weather, it helps, but it won't get rid of the problem completely," Pico said.

And although Pico is treating streams to fight mosquitoes, he says they aren't the biggest breeding grounds. It's those small puddles of water in your own yard that heat up quickly and speed up the growth process.

The health department says it's important for you to keep your yard and gutters free of debris to prevent mosquito problems.

There are 45 traps set up throughout Davidson County that are tested weekly for possible cases of West Nile Virus, which crop up annually in the heat of the summer.

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