Mosquitoes are a real bite in central Ohio this summer.

Mosquitoes are a real bite in central Ohio this summer.

Franklin County Public Health communications director Mitzi Kline said 2015 is the worst mosquito year the county has experienced in recent memory.

"To date, we have trapped and tested double the number of mosquitoes that we did last year at this time," Kline said. "We have been spraying more this summer, and we started earlier than usual."

Kline said the wet summer certainly contributed to a high number of nuisance floodwater mosquitoes.

"Now that it is warmer and drier, we are seeing an increase in culex mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus," she said.

Franklin County Public Health sets 40 traps at established locations throughout the county every Monday, Kline said. The traps are collected the following day and mosquitoes are counted and tested, she said.

The health department reviews the trap data weekly and decisions to spray are made based on the data.

"A high number of mosquitoes or a pool of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus trigger mosquito spraying," Kline said.

As of Aug. 6, the department had collected mosquito traps that have tested positive for West Nile in the following locations: 2182 Ferris Road, Columbus; five locations in Dublin (central, east, north, northeast and west); Franklin North; two locations in Gahanna (south and west); Grandview; two locations in Hilliard (north and south); New Albany; Norwich and Perry townships; Reynoldsburg (east); Sharon Township (north and south); Upper Arlington (north); Westerville (north) and Whitehall (west).

Alana Furman, who lives on Goshen Lane in Gahanna, said her neighborhood is so thick with mosquitoes at night that it's awful to go outside.

"If I did not have a puppy that had to be potty-trained, I would avoid going outside at all, but that shouldn't have to be the case in the summertime," she said.

Another resident said if someone tries to take a walk down Price Road to get to the trails, it appears like one is wearing a hat because the insects are so bad.

Several Gahanna residents also told ThisWeek nuisance mosquitoes are in the Hunters Ridge neighborhood, near the Hunters Ridge Pool and Clark State Road by Hannah Farms.

Kline said residents should take precautionary steps to protect themselves and their families. She said Franklin County Public Health recommends using insect repellent containing DEET (follow package directions); limiting outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active; and eliminating all standing water around homes because mosquitoes breed in water.

Kline said it isn't uncommon to see West Nile virus in mosquitoes this time of year, though.

When the health department sprays for mosquitoes, she said, Permanone (containing permethrin) is used. It's an oil-based product for safe and effective control of mosquitoes, and it's the most widely used chemical family in domestic mosquito control, she said.

"Franklin County Public Health uses ultra-low-volume spray machines that are computer-controlled, GIS-equipped and calibrated to apply extremely small amounts of spray over large areas," Kline said. "The droplet size of the pesticide applied in the spray is small enough to be lethal to mosquitoes, but it will not adversely affect other insects."

Detailed maps of the areas that will be sprayed are online at myfcph.org. Residents are advised to visit the website often for spray maps and other mosquito information.

To report mosquito problem areas, go to myfcph.org and complete a service-request form.

A message also may be left at 614-525-BITE (2483).

All calls will be returned within 72 hours.

Columbus residents should call 311.