SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) -
(06/03/14) - It's a pesky problem most likely affecting all of us - mosquitoes.
Be prepared to be bitten - if you haven't been already.
Now, one Mid-Michigan county is trying to beat them before they get worse.
The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission is fighting back.
For the most part, the Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission will go after them like they do every year.
They've already sprayed from above using airplanes. Now, they're on the ground spraying overnight and doing other treatments during the day.
You can thank our wet spring for the intensity of the outbreak.
"It's a little abnormal, the scope, the breadth of the mosquito populations, because we had a lot of rain," said Bill Stanuszek, mosquito abatement director.
Mosquito control is now extending overnight spraying hours and adding hours on Saturday.
In addition, they will not be spraying individual properties for a short time. That will allow them to treat a larger area of the county to better benefit all of us.
They are still spraying long driveways.
"The other services, like the priority treatments where, 'I've got bad mosquitoes, can you spray my yard?' I guarantee we'll do much better if we stay out on the roads and out of the back yards and get more of the population, more corners of the county, than just a small little portion. So it's more beneficial to the community as a whole to be out on the roads," Stanuszek said.
While that work goes on, you can do something, too.
Make sure to get rid of old tires that collect water and attract the mosquitoes, and, "Dump buckets of water, clean off maybe tarps over boats, things like that. Make sure your window screens are tight and you're not letting bugs in, that's how they kind of get to the kids at night. And then just, at times like this, I know we want to be out in our yards, and you still can, just make sure you're wearing a repellant like a Deet product, and you should be able to enjoy a lot of the outdoors," Stanuszek said.
Briana Hernandez, of Saginaw County, hopes the extra spraying helps.
"They're starting to come back really bad," she said.
That's why the safety conscience mother doesn't take any chances when she's headed outside with son Aiden.
"Bug spray and probably, you know, long sleeves," she said.
Out at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, there were no bugs to be seen or felt - but they are out there.
I noticed them at home doing some yard work, they're out in full force," said Tom Lewis, of Flushing.
On Tuesday, it was simply too windy for the mosquitoes to bug anyone. The wind also impacts mosquito control.
"For the spray to work, it's got to come in contact with mosquitoes. So again if mosquitoes aren't flying due to wind or temperatures, then the spray is going to do no good," Stanuszek said.
Another factor that can slow them down - the temperature. If it dips below 55 degrees overnight, they can't spray then either.
They hope to pick up on the other spraying services in about a week or so, but right now, the focus is on getting ahead of the problem - so it doesn't get worse.