Omaha's mild winter - with few hard freezes - means more mosquitoes are expected this year

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 18:27:08-04

Experts are saying Nebraska’s mild winter is leading to more mosquitoes this year. 

Furthermore, experts say mosquitoes are hatching earlier and living longer. Many mosquitoes were able to live through the winter, which offered few hard freezes that typically keep bug populations at bay. 

The past few weeks have provided a lot of rain and moisture for the Omaha area. Now, with temps approaching the 80s, the heat is helping the bugs hatch. 

John Burton, owner of Mosquito Squad of Omaha, says he’s very busy. 

"You really do have that perfect storm of mosquito activity starting to pick up," Burton said. "Kids are out of school, so a lot of the parents are concerned." 

Burton says he gets numerous calls daily from new customers wanting help getting rid of mosquitoes. 

"We had so much rain the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We're just now getting into the season where it’s getting up in the 80s. The mixture of water and also warm temperatures is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes." 

Mosquitoes can carry many diseases; the most common in Nebraska is West Nile, according to Russ Hadan, of the Douglas County Department of Health.

"Our biggest fear is always the West Nile virus,” Hadan said. 

Hadan also says not only are there more mosquitos to worry about, there's also a new fear this year – the Zika virus coming to in Nebraska. 

The Douglas County Health Department is putting out new traps, which are aimed at catching a certain type of mosquito - the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species which could carry Zika. 

"We set them out already on Monday of this week and we did collect some mosquitoes in it, now we send them off to the state to see what kind of mosquitoes they were," Hadan said. 

Both the health department and mosquito control experts say getting rid of built up moisture on your lawn will help stave off mosquitoes. 

"The most common problems with mosquitoes is standing water, obviously,” Burton said. “What most people don't realize is it’s really just a capful of water. That’s enough to breed hundreds of mosquitoes." 


Wet leaves, drains and tarps are all common breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Burton says once a week, walk your yard and empty out anything with standing water. Also leave common water collectors tipped on their sides.