Monsoon storms create ideal mosquito breeding conditions

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- The storms bring out more than the dust and rain, and they also create ideal breeding conditions for mosquitos.

As the monsoon season continues, officials with Maricopa County Environmental Services say they have already had 42 mosquitos test positive for West Nile.

John Townsend, a division manager for Maricopa County Environmental Services, knows mosquitos - where they breed, and which ones carry the highest risk of disease.

"If you're getting bit during the daytime, they're probably just nuisance mosquitos," said Townsend. "It's the night time mosquitos that pick up the virus."

So far this year, two people have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Maricopa County, and a handful of mosquitos have also tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis.

"We had one trap that caught one mosquito that tested positive for both, so that's the first time that's ever happened'" said Townsend.

The monsoon provides more than just breeding grounds. The mix of humidity and cooler temperatures means, according to Townsend, they tend to live a little bit longer. So check your yards for standing water, because a small nuisance can quickly become a major problem.

"You can have a neighborhood with no mosquitos, and four to five days later, if that water sticks around, you have can a million mosquitos," said Townsend.