Cool, wet spring causes increase in mosquitoes around the Valley

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - A soggy spring and cooler than normal temperatures have Maricopa County Vector Control working hard tracking an unusually busy and early mosquito season, which is causing concern over the growing number of West Nile Virus cases discovered.

Traps have been set, and thousands of mosquitoes have already been collected by Maricopa County Vector Control. It's only mid-May.

"This is the most common one, culex quinquefasciatus, and it breeds in people's swimming pools that are bad," said John Townsend.

Division Manager, John Townsend, says the department is busier than usual.

"Right now it's a lot worse than it was last year," said Townsend.

This map is an indication of just how bad the mosquitoes are biting, and Townsend says there's been a shift: more bugs are being trapped in central locations versus south of the Valley.

"It's kind of amplifying in nature in the birds and the mosquitos but for whatever reason, we are picking it up," said Townsend.

Once mosquito traps are picked up, they're brought back to the lab, sorted by species, and tested. Those tests, according to Townsend, indicate a massive increase in West Nile cases.

"This time last year we had we had nine total positive mosquitos and right now we have 60," explained Townsend. "If you've got a swimming pool that isn't working come over here and get some fish, put it in there so you're not creating this little swamp that is creating a mosquito haven for the whole neighborhood."

The fish are free for anyone who lives in Maricopa.

In the meantime, Vector Control is doing it's part, fogging mosquitos hoping they don't keep breeding and the problem doesn't keep growing.

"But it all kind of depends on the monsoon you know we've had kind of like I said a wet spring once it dries out everything kind of changes until the monsoon hits once the monsoon hits it might really take off again," said Townsend.

Vector Control has a Mosquito Management Map online so you can track activity in your neighborhood.