NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Our warm, wet weather is the perfect storm for mosquitoes, even in the winter. You might not expect to see them out this time of year. But, experts say they're not slowing down and they can be aggressive.
"This time of year we're especially getting a lot of flood water species coming in," said entomologist Sarah Michaels with the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board.
She's monitoring the population and asking you to get rid of any standing water you may have around your home, that's a prime mosquito breeding ground.
"Especially with this rain today, we really want people to continue to look around their yards and that's something you don't think of, but even something as small as a saucer underneath a potted plant or some containers in your yard, buckets left out, it takes a little bit longer this time of year but we like to get the messaging at least once a week," said Michaels.
A Tulane University mosquito expert we talked to agrees you shouldn't let your guard down.
"I think the threat for something like Zika or Dengue is really pretty low right now because the temperatures are dropping into the 60s and even into the 50s overnight, but you know if you are outside working, outside playing, outside working in your yard, whatever, and you feel that you're being bitten a lot by mosquitoes, I would certainly use that repellent," said Tulane University Associate Professor of Tropical Medicine Dawn Wesson.
And taking precautions now can pay off later.
"We have the right species of mosquitoes to vector Zika so were taking precautions, we're doing enhanced surveillance for those and we're really looking to keep that population low so we're putting that messaging out to people to limit those containers now so later in the season we don't have quite as a high a number," said Michaels.
If you're having a problem with mosquitoes in your yard or neighborhood, you can call the city's 311 hotline and file a complaint. The New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board will then come out to your home, do an inspection, and try to find out what's causing the issue.