Warmer winter, heavy rains bring more bugs to WNY

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- If you’ve ventured near the water lately, chances are you’ve been greeted with swarms of insects.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in calls this season,” said Karlene Franasiak with Mosquito Joe.

They’ve received almost triple the number of calls, in fact.

The family-operated franchise has had to hire additional help to service the spike in calls; most of them have been for mosquitoes and ticks.

May’s heavy rainfall has made for a perfect breeding ground.

“Mosquitoes really only need about a bottle cap full of water to breed roughly a couple hundred mosquito eggs,” Franasiak explained.

After only a couple of minutes at Niawanda Park, our News 4 car was covered in sandflies.

Peter Tripi with the Erie County Department of Health has seen a large spike in mosquito and tick calls also.

The reason behind it he said, is climate change.

“Obviously we all know, we’ve had two mild winters in a row. Because of those mild winters, things survive. Animals, insects, eggs, all the things where you might have some die off through attrition because of the weather patterns and things like that, we haven’t seen that effect,” the senior public health sanitarian explained.

Ticks can carry Lyme Disease, so Tripi said it’s important for homeowners to take initiative to avoid them.

“Ticks quest. In other words, ticks crawl up the grass and they hang there waiting for something to rub off in.”

Tripi said it’s motivation to keep those lawns and hedges trimmed; as for mosquitoes, he suggests getting rid of standing water and keeping pools covered.

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