Fairfax County mosquitoes already descending on area

(Photo: Flickr/wild_turkey5300)

A warmer-than-usual winter and a sticky and soggy weather pattern over the past few weeks likely means that more mosquitoes are headed our way, and in one region, they've already arrived.

This week's relentless rain in parts of the area, coupled with an oversoaked ground and high temperatures and humidity, create ideal conditions for the biting pests.

In response, Fairfax County Health Department scientists are setting up countywide monitoring systems, including 68 traps that can help entomologists gather critical information they need to tell if the bugs carry West Nile Virus.

"We're starting to do surveillance just to make sure it doesn't come in early, especially with the warm winter we had," county entomologist Jorge Arias said. "There's no way of foretelling what's going to happen."

The county is also urging residents to keep an eye on anything that could hold water, potentially creating a breeding ground for more mosquitoes.