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Tulsa Health Dept. reports mosquitoes in Tulsa

Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 22:55:47-04

After flooding in the fall and a mild winter, the potential exists for a large mosquito population in Green Country this year.

Sam Dowell with Mosquito Joe said his business is already receiving plenty of calls for residential mosquito control. 

"There is moisture, there are mosquito eggs," Dowell said. "When it gets warm they will hatch and start swarming. They look for something to eat and that is either you, me or the dog."

The Tulsa Health Department reported Monday, calls of mosquito sightings around Green Country are starting earlier than usual this year.

But Bernard Dindy, THD's manager of environmental services said he will have to wait and see before he can determine if that means more mosquitoes in the Tulsa area than past years.

"See what we have when we put out traps out, see if we have an increase in the mosquito population this year from last year," Dindy said. "There is the possibility that there maybe an increase this year because of the winter."

The health department will start putting 50 traps out in May to test for West Nile Virus, plus a second type of trap which is targeted at mosquitoes known to carry the Zika Virus.

"We will collect this net, bring them in, sort the males and the females and test the females," Dindy said while holding one of the traps Monday.

As his crew treats home after home, Dowell said Mosquito Joe's customers are aware last year's rain and mild winter create the potential for a large mosquito population, but he said quite a few are also asking for work to be done due to the Zika virus.

"I think people are wanting to get a jump on it and kid of get ahead of the problem," Dowell said. "So that is having an effect. I think the mild winter, it is not that often that middle of March you have 70 degree weather that is going to bring out the mosquitoes this early."

Last year in Tulsa county the health department collected 958 trap samples. 80 trap samples tested positive for West Nile Virus. THD confirmed 5 human cases of the virus during mosquito season. Click here to see a map of areas where the Tulsa Health Department collected West Nile Virus samples

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