Thanks to the seasonally unusual amount of rainfall in the months leading up to June, local officials have reported an increase in the amount of mosquitoes in town.
Jeff Hood, spokesman for the City of Lodi, said the rise in mosquitoes and bites has been seen primarily at parks that are located in basins.
“(Mosquitoes) come into the nature area around Lodi Lake on a regular basis, as well as at the pond at DeBenedetti Park,” Hood said. “Other than those two obvious locations, there’s typically not a lot of activity at other parks.”
Hood said even the staff with the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services suffered bites doing routine maintenance and weed abatement at several parks in town.
According to www.patricksweeneydds.com, a website that records local rainfall records, Lodi saw more than 25 inches of rain between January and May.
Hood said the rainfall left behind a lot of standing water in basin parks such as Glaves, Vinewood, Peterson and Kofu among others.
Brenda Sanchez took her dogs to Beckman Park at Century Boulevard and Ham Lane Thursday, one of the city’s many parks that forms a basin.
She said she had not seen an increase in mosquitoes, or heard of anyone having a problem with them, at any of the parks in Lodi.
“I think it depends on the type of person (who gets bitten),” she said. “My parents don’t get bites at all, but I always get three or four. But that’s at my home, never in any of the parks.”
In mid-June, the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District undertook one of the largest spray operations in Lodi in recent years, spokesman Aaron Devencenzi said.
The district conducted ground spraying at Peterson and DeBenedetti parks, as well as a portion of south Lodi near Armstrong Road and Ham Lane, June 13 and 14.
The following two days, the district conducted ground spraying at Beckman, Vinewood, Rosegate and Glaves parks; in areas near Tokay and Mills avenues and Kettleman and Ham lanes; as well as in areas near Highway 99, Harney Lane, Century Boulevard and Lower Sacramento Road.
In addition, aerial spraying was conducted along the Mokelumne River in parts of Lodi, Acampo and Woodbridge.
This weekend, the district will be spraying near Highway 12 and Guard Road in rural west Lodi.
Devencenzi said fortunately, there were no reported cases of West Nile Virus in Lodi, as the mosquitoes found here did not carry the disease.
However, he said that does not mean residents should not take precautions when they go outside.
To keep mosquito populations at a minimum, Devencenzi said residents should remove all standing water from their property, as the insects typically lay eggs there.
To avoid bites, keep screens on doors and windows and wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when going outdoors.
To combat the insect, only use repellent regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Eucalyptus or IR 3535. A list of approved repellents and where to purchase them can be found at www.epa.gov/insect-repellents.
“I know a lot of people think home remedies can keep them from being bitten, but they should never use those,” he said. “They are not proven to work, and we have a disease that’s deadly.”