It is coming: itchy, scratchy time in Northeast Ohio.
Swarms of blood-hungry mosquitoes are coming, and they will be here any day, according to the Summit County Public Health.
“We’re looking at a very large hatch... and they’re going to be awful,” said spokesman Terry Tuttle of the health district.
The mosquitoes involved are “ferocious biters,” he said.
These are the kind of mosquitoes that will bite you eight times or more as you walk across your lawn and you won’t know you’ve been bitten until later, he said.
“They don’t flutter. They hit you quick,” he said,
Asked if the region is facing a big mosquito outbreak and big problem, Tuttle said, “Oh, my goodness, we are. We really are.”
The Aedes mosquitoes, as they are known, do not carry diseases like the West Nile virus that other mosquitoes transmit, he said.
It will be several weeks before the spraying will knock down the Aedes numbers, he said.
The heavy and nonstop rain that has flooded the Akron area in the last few weeks is to blame, Tuttle said.
The recent heat has speeded up the development of the biting mosquitoes. Normally, it takes seven to 10 days for mosquitoes to develop from eggs to adults, he said.
But daytime temperatures near 90 and nighttime lows in the low 70s have cut that time to about week and that means the pests are going to everywhere almost immediately, he said.
Extra spraying for the Aedes mosquitoes got underway Tuesday might in Summit County.
Areas of Copley and Coventry townships plus Lakemore and Tallmadge suffered heavy flooding on July 10 and that will require extra spraying.
Areas to be sprayed this week are Tallmadge, southern Springfield Township, northern Green, Kenmore and southwest Akron. Also flooded were Barberton and Norton that is served by the Barberton Mosquito Abatement District.
The district’s counts of nuisance mosquitoes was near normal on Tuesday, but are expected to start climbing because there is growing evidence that the newest mosquitoes are starting to hatch, said operations manager Russ Shilling.
His district has done some extra morning sprayings because of the nuisance mosquito threat, he said.
Summit County Public Health uses a Permethrin-based insecticide, which is a man-made version of pyrethrin which is derived from plants in the chrysanthemum family. The adulticide is mixed with 10 parts of food-grade oil.
Driving at 10 miles per hour, the truck sprays 1.031 ounces of Permethrin per mile.
The best advice, Tuttle said, is to wear Deet-based insect repellent and to get rid of standing water on properties where the mosquitoes can breed.
Other suggestions are:
• Maintain your swimming pool to prevent breeding.
• Mow grass, weeds and clean up debris. Don’t store items outside that collect water.
• Check window screens for holes.
• Wear a hat, long pants, gloves and sleeves when working outside.
• Mosquitoes typically bite more in the early morning and throughout the evening. Plan your outside work around those times.
• Keep children indoors during peak evening biting.
Northeast Ohio’s hot temperatures also triggered a two-day ozone alert for eight counties through today.
The warning for unhealthy air affects Summit, Portage, Medina, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga and Ashtabula counties.
Ozone is formed when hydrocarbons combine with nitrogen oxides in direct sunlight. The pollutants come from industry, vehicles and coal-burning power plants.
It can cause breathing problems for children, the elderly and asthmatics. Those groups may want to curtail strenuous outdoor activity.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.