An Aedes aegypti mosquito. File photo.

After an unusually rainy winter and a gloomy spring, summer is finally in full swing.

Unfortunately, this time of year means more than just warm weather and sunshine—it also means an increase in mosquitoes.

You may be wondering if there have been more mosquitoes than usual this year due to record-breaking rains— after all, insects like mosquitoes need to be near water and moisture to survive.

According to Mozhgan Mofidi, an operations officer for the Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Health, the vector control program has actually not received an uptick in mosquito-related calls this year.

This was surprising to Mofidi as well.

“We expected to have a lot more complaints this year, because we had a lot of rain,” she said.

Although this is good news, Mofidi still urges residents to take precautions. While it can vary by breed, mosquitoes typically become more active in the heat, so there’s still time for numbers to increase through the end of summer and into the fall, she said.

“I don’t want to speak too soon, because we’re not over with summer and sometimes our summer goes to fall, and we continue having warmer weather during fall, with especially the climate that is changing,” Mofidi said. “We suspected that we might see mosquito activity later on during fall season as well.”

To ensure that mosquitoes don’t congregate in or around your home, most importantly, Mofidi advises being on the lookout for any stagnant pools of water. This can mean a body of water as large as a pool that hasn’t been maintained thoroughly, or anything from a pet bowl, a grill, toys, a toilet, or even potted plants. Essentially any container of water can serve as a breeding ground, Mofidi said.

“No matter how small or big, [anything that] can maintain and keep a pool of water is something that we need to look at, examine and eliminate,” Mofidi said.

Mosquitoes can be more than just a nuisance, as they can carry a number of diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria and dengue, just to name a few. Plus, not everyone who becomes infected shows symptoms, so it can be difficult to assess what warning signs to look out for, Mofidi said.

Luckily, there have been no West Nile cases detected in Long Beach residents this year, and the city takes a number of surveillance measures such as utilizing mosquito pools throughout the city, which are monitored on a weekly basis, Mofidi said.

“It’s concerning because they are vectors and they do … transfer diseases to humans,” Mofidi said. “So taking precautionary measures is always, always recommended whether we have any cases or not have any cases.”

All in all, the best thing to do is try to keep mosquitoes outside, which means ensuring that you use screens and keep windows and doors closed, said Mofidi.

And, make sure to wear repellent— Mofidi said she has a few varieties she uses with various smells, which she also offers to guests when they come over. If you don’t like using repellent, wearing long sleeves or pants is always an option too, she said.

“Even though we might not have a big issue on our hands right now, that doesn’t mean anything—still, we need to do what we need to do … which is making sure that we protect ourselves, our family, and our neighbors,” Mofidi said. “They can go from one home to another, so if we are responsible, and we feel that responsibility toward ourselves and our neighbors, we are in a good place.”

More information is available here. If you are dealing with a mosquito infestation, the Vector Control Program can be reached Mondays through Fridays between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m by calling (562) 570-4132. You can also file an online report here.