More monsoon rain means more mosquitoes

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There’s at least one downside of the much-needed downpour we’ve seen this month. All the rain means puddles, ponds, and mosquitoes.

With a painful new mosquito-borne virus sweeping the country, local health officials want people to be cautious.

They’re offering some interesting remedies you may not know about.

Parts of New Mexico saw more rain than others. The past couple weeks have brought much-needed relief, but they’ve also brought some annoyances.

“As soon as the sun went down, we got attacked by them,” said Chelsea Medley, who was attacked by mosquitoes. They’ve grown in numbers with the monsoon season.

“Anywhere that there’s standing water can provide a mosquito breeding habitat,” said Paul Smith of the Environmental Health Department. “Those are the types of water sources that we’re really concerned with.”

Smith says the city offers home remedies. Call 311, and they’ll come spray your neighborhood with insecticide. And if you have a pond, there’s something else they can do.

“We produce mosquito fish,” he said.

That’s right – fish. They’re free for people to pick up and use at home, and they eat mosquito larvae.

“We have three sites throughout the city at Osuna Nursery, Mud Monsters and Shady Lakes,” Smith said.

Mosquitoes pose a bigger problem when they carry viruses. The painful tropical disease chikungunya has been confirmed in 31 states, but hasn’t hit New Mexico yet.

Health officials say it’s rarely fatal, but the virus can cause joint pain, rashes or a fever – something people enjoying the recent waters should be aware of.

“I’ve got my 3-year-old, so I would be terrified if she got bit and it got her with a virus,” Medley said.

Insect repellant containing Deet or precaritan oil can help keep them away. If you see a large number of mosquitoes breeding, city officials say they’re here to help.

The city says it puts out 18 mosquito traps a week from the North Valley to the South Valley. They use them to monitor populations, and test for viruses.

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