ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Scientists are predicting a large mosquito population in Georgia during the next few weeks.
Elmer Gray, an entomologist with the University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension Service, says the nuisance mosquitoes are expected to be particularly bad in coming weeks.
However, Gray said the type of mosquitoes expected to attack Georgians in increasing numbers are not the primary carriers of West Nile virus.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the Southern house mosquito, one of dozens of mosquito species in Georgia, is the vector for West Nile virus. They breed in places like storm sewers. The recent heavy rains have flushed them out, leaving their populations low for now.
Peak season for West Nile virus is from about mid-August to mid-September he said.
Although Southern house mosquito numbers are low, Asian tiger mosquitoes are popping out by the millions.
Asian tiger mosquitoes like to breed in small containers of water, like clogged-up gutters, old tires and unused flower pots lying around in the back yard.
"Everything that could possibly hold water in the community is holding water," Gray said, referring to recent heavy rains in the area.
And now temperatures are getting hot again, which also helps mosquitoes along.
"The heat is going to cap off the months of rain to make for quite a population, I expect," Gray said.