Local county battles insect issue, forcing residents indoors

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MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) – Mosquitoes are no joke to some people living in Lake County this year. 

“It’s frustrating, it’s annoying and it’s aggravating,” said Janelle Unger, a resident in Mentor.

The Lake County General Health District says they run 16 mosquito traps throughout the county to test for disease and are seeing a few more of the bugs than usual.

“The amount of notices we’re getting from the citizens in the county is showing that there’s an increased population of mosquitoes this year,” said Environmental Health Director Dan Lark.

People in Mentor say this is the worst they’ve seen the mosquito population. Unger has lived in the area for 17 years and says the mosquitos are keeping everyone indoors. 

“We’re pretty close neighbors and so once somebody comes outside, everybody kind of comes in the yard, talks and has a good time, and after like 5, 6 o’clock, we can’t even come out here,” she said.

FOX 8 asked Lark why the population may have increased. 

“We’ve had a wet year, and so when there’s the wet weather, it leaves a lot more little wet areas for mosquito breeding,” Lark said.

He says they treat water on public properties but encourage property owners to drain standing water if they can.

Some people have been complaining that the county doesn’t seem to be spraying as often, but Lark says weather permitting, they’re spraying the organic pesticide as much as they can. He said it takes about two weeks to get the whole county.

“We spray at night because one, that’s when the majority of mosquitoes are out, in the evening and in the dusk time, and you know, the other reason we do it at night is a lot of people are inside. We don’t want to be spraying it around people,” he said.

They have also upgraded some of their sprayers from a noisy gas-powered engine to a quieter electric one, which could make them less noticeable.

Despite those efforts, it seems the mosquitoes are sticking around. 

“I don’t know if there’s anything else we can do, I don’t, but it’s bad. You can’t even enjoy summer,” Unger said.

Lark says if they see a high trap count or get a lot of complaints from a particular area, they try and double back with their sprayers.

They will also come to treat standing water on private property that can be drained if asked. 

They have not detected any viruses in the mosquitoes in the traps.

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