There’s some serious blood-sucking going on out there and it ain’t from the vampires! Mosquitoes are literally trying to carry us off.


It’s bad enough up here in Randolph County where I find myself assaulted by dozens of tiny mosquitoes every time I step outside. I understand from researchers, Hurricane Florence has caused parts of the eastern half of North Carolina to come under the onslaught of mosquitoes, three-times their usual size.


One researcher told reporters the state has 61 types of mosquitoes, many of which lay dormant in the ground until sufficient rains fall. Then, he said, we can get billions and billions of them.


You know it’s getting bad when the state governor has to issue a mosquito warning. Gov. Roy Cooper authorized $4 million to be spent to fund mosquito control efforts in counties currently under a major disaster declaration. Those counties do not include Randolph County but Moore County is on the list.


Imagine that — $4 million to spray for mosquitoes. If we weren’t rolling into Halloween, I don’t think I could believe such a nightmare scenario.


What can you do? First, protect yourself and your family. Use mosquito repellent and reapply frequently when outside. Try to wear clothing that covers arms and legs. Fortunately, as the weather cools, that shouldn’t be a problem. For babies, cover cribs, strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.


Check around your home for areas where mosquitoes can breed. The usual suspects are buckets and trays that are left outside, plant water dishes, children’s toys and unused tires. But you need to get creative when looking around. Remember, mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap of water.


Do you have something tarped around your home, like a car or motorcycle? Check the places the tarp may have curled up. These spots can hold water for mosquitoes to breed in. Check the gutters. Blocked gutters hold water, too.


In discussing this with a friend, she said she had a problem with a hanging basket. A plant that had done well throughout the season was turning yellow and dying. She said, when she took the plant down, she discovered the pot’s drainage holes were stopped up. Water had backed up in the pot. Not only was her plant dying, she had a lovely little mosquito pond in the hanging basket.


Of course, you can’t find every spot. Trees develop knot holes that hold enough water for mosquitoes to breed in. If you live in a wooded area, there is no limit to the things that could be in the woods holding water from hollow logs to trash left by former occupants.


But, don’t worry. Our first frost usually happens around Oct. 30 in this area. The first killing frost is typically around two weeks later. We can keep our fingers crossed that low temperatures will put an end to our mosquito nightmare for 2018.


* J.D. Walker’s garden column appears each Thursday. Follow her on Facebook at GardenSown.