PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ahhhh! Summer-like weather has finally hit Oregon. So have the mosquitoes.
High temperatures combined with the water creates a perfect environment for larvae to hatch. Multnomah County Mosquito Control is already out testing for the insects and they’re asking people to look around for areas that could be breeding grounds.
“Anything that can hold any water is a potential larval development site,” said Jim Stafford, the lead publich health vector specialist for Multnomah County. “Just one little coffee can full of water is definitely enough to give an entire neighborhood a headache from mosquitoes this summer.”
Multnomah County is already treating the standing water in the 7000+ storm runoff drains around the county.
Stafford and his staff are fighting it with everything from live, water-borne weapons to traps used to test live mosquitoes for viruses to larvicide tablets used to treat standing water in those runoff catchment systems.
The water-borne weapons are mosquito fish that are delegated into backyard ponds and pools. The fist eat the mosquitoes.
The mosquito traps are meant to attract blood-fed pregnant female mosquitoes, Stafford said.
There was no West Nile Virus activity in Northwest Oregon in 2016, and it was detected in only 51 mosquitoes statewide. It’s Stafford’s goal to keep it that way.
“From the snowmelt, the rain this spring, we’re seeing a lot of water in our natural sights,” he said.
KOIN 6 Meteorologist Sally Showman said summer arrives a month early Sunday. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s by afternoon. Offshore wind keeps skies clear through Tuesday. Temperatures soar into the 90s Monday. We may see records fall Tuesday, when temperatures reach the mid-90s.
But as we get ready for the heat — and as summer quickly approaches — officials want people to know it will still be a while before water temperatures warm up.
Experts say it all has to do with heavy snowpack this year.
Colder-than-usual temperatures and an extremely active winter kept the mountain snowy, but now that it’s getting warmer, that snowpack will melt into local waterways. Keep that in mind before you think about diving into the water on a hot day.
“Just because we have a hot spell, it hasn’t changed the environment in the water,” Lt. Marc Shrake with Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said. “This is not typical May, June, July weather when our temps are about 60 degrees. we are still closer to 50.”
KOIN 6 News reporter Chris Holmstrom contributed to this report.