Thanks to the much needed rain we’ve gotten over the last few weeks, we now have a mosquito problem in Amarillo.

As a person with an allergy to mosquitoes, I’m always well aware I’ve been bitten.  I’ve gone through the season with just a couple bites.  At least until last night.  After going inside from enjoying the evening on my balcony,  I went inside discovered I’d been bitten four times.

According to our Meteorologist John Harris, we’ve reached our average yearly rainfall and this has provided a fertile environment for an explosion of mosquitoes.  Unfortunately the wet weather also makes it next to impossible for the city to spray for the insects.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself.  Check your property frequently for standing water, like in old tires.  These are mosquito factories.  Keeping weeds cut back and your yard properly mowed will also eliminate potential breeding grounds.

It might help to keep in mind the “4 D’s” of mosquito prevention.

DRAIN standing water.

DRESS in long, loose and light-colored clothing.

DEET, as in use a repellent containing DEET.

DUSK & DAWN as in limit outdoor activities in the early morning and evening hours.

It’s also a good idea to have a good antihistamine on hand to treat allergic reactions to bites.  Benadryl is my drug of choice.  And it comes in a topical cream that goes right on the bite, works faster than a pill and doesn’t make you sleepy.

Also remember that mosquitoes also attack dogs and cats and some attention to their vulnerability outside should be addressed.

There are 85 different species of mosquitoes and some of them carry viruses, some of those are potentially fatal.  West Nile virus is a continuous worry but has yet to be an issue on the High Plains thanks to the Caprock acting as a barrier south.  West Nile is an issue in Lubbock.

And keep in mind, the mosquitoes won’t be around much longer this year.