Posted on October 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM
PHOENIX -- If you feel like you can’t step outside without getting swarmed by mosquitoes, you’re not alone.
“I’ve been here seven or eight years and had never been bitten until just a little while ago. This was the first year I’d been bitten here,” said Lisa Parks.
Lisa’s husband Joey Parks recalls a recent mosquito attack.
“I was just sitting outside in my parents’ backyard in Scottsdale,” he said. “I had like 35 bites or so up and down my legs. They were all small, there was just a lot of them.”
Maricopa County Environmental Services has seen an increase this year in mosquito-related complaints.
“Just a few weeks ago, we were getting 1,200 calls a week. We’re still getting about 450 a week,” said Vector Control supervisor David Guerrieri.
The active 2012 monsoon is likely the reason for the increase in the biting bugs.
“It’s the combination of the weather, the rains and the heat,” said Guerrieri.
At the Vector Control lab workers set out more than 500 traps a week, and test thousands of mosquitoes from each trap.
“They’re looking for the species. Only certain species are known to carry West Nile virus,” said Guerrieri.
Arizona is home to more than 40 species of mosquito. Only two of those carry the virus.
According to the CDC, there have been more than 3,500 case of West Nile virus nationwide this year. In Arizona, there have been more than 50 confirmed cases, 44 of which were in Maricopa County.
To report mosquitoes in Maricopa County, contact Environmental Services at 602-506-0700 or online at maricopa.gov/wnv