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Climate and Environment

Ankle Biters Are Back In Record Numbers In The SGV

A mosquito on someone's hairy skin.
“There is no good mosquito.”
((Photo by Jim Stauffer via the Creative Commons on Flickr))
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That buzzing in your ears? You're not imagining that. There are a lot more bugs out there.

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reports record numbers of mosquitoes right now due to warmer temperatures, which speed up the incubation period for bugs, said the district's Levy Sun.

The Culex mosquito, which can carry West Nile virus, is showing up the most right now. It can develop from egg to adult in as little as five days and likes to use stagnant water, like ponds, puddles or bottles, to lay its eggs.

"A lot of people think we live in an urban paradise where there are no insects, but the reality is nature is interwoven into our concrete jungle here, and we cannot escape mosquitoes," Sun said.

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But Sun said we should hold off on ordering a bug zapper, as they can catch more than just mosquitoes and hurt the biodiversity of insects in our cities. He suggests a simple solution: Get rid of any stagnant water outside of your home and protect yourself with repellent.

While Aedes mosquito numbers are increasing — the invasive species was first documented in 2010 — it's more active in the fall and winter, according to Sun.

"They are also known as ankle-biters," he said. "They're black and white striped mosquitoes, and these are the ones that actually thrive in our urban environment and prefer to bite people during the day."

As temperatures heat up, we will see more bugs, said Sun. So get ready for #HotBugSummer.

What questions do you have about Southern California?