KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — There are three kinds of mosquitoes that hang around areas after they see heavy rain, according to the Knox County Health Department.
First are the floodwater mosquitoes. As heavy rain collects in puddles, they may breed in the water that lingers as storms drift away. Next, there are the container mosquitoes that linger outdoors in containers that hold standing water, such as in buckets and bowls left outside in the rain.
Finally, there are the Culex mosquitoes. These kinds of pests tend to breed around stagnant water with lots of bacteria. Unfortunately, they can also spread diseases stemming from those areas.
"There are different areas of Knox County that seem to have more of a problem than others," said Darlene Gwaltney with KCHD. "It really is all dependent on the geography of the area."
Gwaltney is the program manager for the health department's groundwater protection service. She works with crews that make mosquitos less annoying, cutting down on their populations with a variety of strategies.
"We are actively treating any low areas that might be accumulating on somebody's property with larvicide," she said. "We will do that for the public."
Larvicide is a treatment that kills mosquito larvae before they fully develop, helping to keep mosquito populations from growing as they breed. She said the health department can treat around 150 sites Knox County with it.
While most mosquitoes come out in the summer, Gwaltney also said they can appear earlier if the climate and weather are right for them. So, she said they tend to treat areas before mosquito season even gets started, trying to stop the population from growing before it has a chance to get out of hand.
Gwaltney said there are some things people can do at home to prevent mosquito populations from growing. They can keep the grass cut low to prevent moisture from collecting in thick bushes and tall grass. They can also routinely change out the water in birdbaths, eliminating the chance for mosquito populations to grow from standing water.