Health department billboards warn mosquito season is coming

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- There are two billboards along U.S. 52 in Forsyth County right now to remind folks of ways to protect themselves and their neighborhood from swarms of mosquitoes.

Environmental Technician Ryan Harrison said the purchase was made with the help of grants from the state for public educational purposes.

“We like for them to get up early in the season to try and encourage people to start managing their water and start being aware that mosquitoes are coming,” Harrison said.

Managing your water includes removing containers from the yard and dumping those following a rainfall. All it takes is something as small as a bottle cap.

“You can find as many as 100 larvae in a couple ounces of water if it’s really a good productive breeding site,” Harrison said.

Asian tiger mosquitoes are most commonly found in people’s yards or neighborhood. Harrison said that specific species can grow from larvae to adult size in about five to 10 days.

In the team's effort to reduce the mosquito population in the county, they focus on larger areas with larvicides surrounding creek, flood plains, greenways and school systems.

Depending on the weather, the department may set 10-15 traps per week. However there is one trap called Ovipositon that is used quite frequently.

“These traps collect mosquito eggs and then we submit those eggs to NC State University where they rear them out and they speciate them for us. They figure out what species they are and then they give us that information back,” Harrison said.

Harrison also suggest people wear CDC approved repellent and recommend applying it with your hand like sunscreen instead of an aerosol spray.