Rain and humidity create 'perfect storm' for pests to multiply
Wichita, Kan. (KAKE) - Summer is in full swing and with it comes summer pests like mosquitoes and ticks.
But the different diseases that come with them, such as Zika, West Nile virus or even Lyme Disease can fill summer fun with anxiety.
"I have seen some, but it hasn't deterred us from coming,” said Maria Strong, who was out for a nature walk at the Great Plains Nature Center with her son.
James Knight, who was also enjoying a walk, said, "I've actually had a couple ticks myself and seen some on the dog. Seen more of the ticks then the mosquitoes as of yet, but I'm sure the others will come along."
Knight says the pests are pretty common in Kansas, but it just comes down to being cautious.
"It's about all we can do. Cause you know they’re going to be out there, so it's just a matter of just being prepared and doing what we can do. Just spraying ourselves down and being careful,” said Knight.
Naturalist Emily Davis at the Great Plains Nature Center blames the wet winter and the large amount of rain recently.
"It's just been really wet so far this year, so it's just been perfect for especially the mosquitoes that breed in ponds and stuff and all of those insects that like to roam around. It's just been a perfect storm of conditions for those guys to thrive,” said Emily Davis.
Davis says the center has seen a pretty big increase in mice and deer too, so there's plenty of food for ticks.
But she says there are ways to prevent bites, like wearing long sleeve shirts, pants and closed toed shoes or using repellents like Deet or permethrin.
Davis said, "If you know you are gonna be out in really tall grass and stuff or in forests it's a good idea to tuck long pants into socks. It might look a little dorky, but it might keep those ticks from crawling up you, because they really like to crawl up. And of course, that just makes it harder for them to bite you. Those ticks and mosquitoes."
There are also ways you can treat the big bites if you get them like using over the counter creams or gels and if you've been bitten by a tick it's best to monitor those in case it gets infected.