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What's with all the mosquitoes, bees and gnats? Experts point to SoCal's record winter rainfall

ABC 7 Los Angeles 5/25/2023 KABC

It's something a lot of people have noticed around Southern California lately: bugs.

Bugs, bugs and more bugs, everywhere you look.

"Every time I go out in the backyard, especially when it's sunny, it's always these little things coming at me," said Frankie Munoz, who lives in Riverside.

It's not just nuisance bugs and gnats but it's also mosquitoes and bees. It all adding up to a busy season so far for pest control experts.

"I've been real busy," said Nick Cappellano, who owns Allied Pest Control. "I average between 16 and 22 jobs a day, responding to all sorts of things: ants, spiders, ear wigs, which are considered the pincher bugs that end up in the house."

For those wondering why we're seemingly under attack this spring, experts say look no further than all the record rain we received over the winter.

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"All of those rains have resulted in more water, specifically more stagnant water in areas throughout the state and Southern California," said Dr. Alec Gerry, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside.

"All of those increased areas with stagnant water are likely increasing the number of mosquitoes being produced, similarly with other non-biting midges that are produced in aquatic sites," he said.

Gerry said we should expect the increase in bugs to last longer than usual.

"In general, I think this is going to be an unusual year because we have a lot of snowmelt that's going to continue feeding into lakes and ponds and rivers throughout Southern California, much longer than we'd typically have in our state at least," he said.

"I think that's going to extend our mosquito season much longer than we've had in the past."

The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health said residents need to do their part to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

"What we really want the public to know is that the fight against mosquitoes requires their help to truly be effective," said spokesperson Kristin Lorge. "Managing standing water is key. Also, maintaining backyard swimming pools, and changing and cleaning any fountains or ponds on a regular basis will eliminate breeding locations."

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