Recent rain creates ideal mosquito breeding conditions in Central Texas
Recent rain and warm temperatures have created the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes in central Texas.
It's mosquito control awareness week, and local company Mosquito Joe showed CBS Austin just how fast the pests can get out of control and how homeowners can protect themselves.
Mosquito Joe owner Joshua Lien said the most effective thing to do is take a walk around your yard and dump out any standing water.
Even the smallest amount of standing water could be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"When a female mosquito lays eggs she's laying between 300 and 500 eggs at a time," said Lien.
It only takes a few days for mosquito larva to turn into adult mosquitos.
"So if you leave a small bit of standing water and one mosquito gets in there and lays eggs that can create a big problem in your yard," Lien said.
Standing water often accumulates in bird baths, kids toys and dog bowls. Lien said the recent rain and warm weather has caused the mosquito population to explode in Austin.
"We have a lot of lakes, creeks and now with all this rain a lot of that stuff is filling up and creating good conditions for mosquitoes," Lien said.
With a large mosquito population, comes the threat of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile.
That's where professional mosquito control companies like Mosquito Joe come in.
"We apply it everywhere that's shady and out of the wind, bushes, shrubs, under decks all the places mosquitoes like to rest when they're not busy biting us," said Lien.
Lien said most of the pesticides he uses can be bought online and used by homeowners, but he advises to use extreme caution.
"Read the labels so they understand how to use it," Lien said.
Lien adds it's important to wait one hour for the pesticides to dry before letting children and pets back outside.