SPOKANE, Wash. -- It is that time of year again, the season for mosquitoes and black flies.
Mosquitoes and black flies are usually out during dawn and dusk. If you do not protect yourself, a bug bite could lead to a more serious problem.
If you have standing water on your property, this is the perfect habitat for mosquito larvae during this time of year. Water and warm temperatures allow them to thrive.
The Spokane Regional Health District recommends draining and routinely emptying anything with standing water outside of your home.
"Looking at things like bird baths, pools, tires, anything where water is stagnant and eggs can hatch," said Kim Papich with the Spokane Regional Health District.
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are not uncommon in our area.
In 2017, at least 7 people contracted West Nile Virus in Spokane County according to the Washington State Department of Health.
In Kootenai County, Idaho, there were no human West Nile Virus cases in 2017 according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
However, in 2006 Idaho led the nation in human illnesses associated with West Nile Virus which lead to over 20 related deaths.
A spokesperson for the Spokane Regional Health District said no one has ever died in Spokane county as a result of West Nile Virus, but it is possible.
Recently, the health district has also received several calls and concerns due to bleeding caused by black fly bites.
"We have a lot of questions about why is my child bleeding, is it dangerous? It's not dangerous, black flies don't spread disease, it's just the nature of how they get blood," said Papich.
To protect yourself from both black flies and mosquitoes, the health district recommends insect repellent with deet, wearing long sleeved clothes during dusk and dawn or simply staying inside during those times.
As part of the Spokane Regional Health District's "Bring It, Summer Pests!" campaign, you can find tips about what types of repellent to buy and how to make sure your property is safe.