WOODS CROSS — A lot of snow this year combined with a lot of rain means mosquitoes have more places to thrive.

In Davis County, the folks at mosquito abatement say they have about a third more ground to cover than usual. Jake Taylor and Braydon Hatch with the Davis County Mosquito Abatement District trudge through mud and water looking out for mosquito larvae.

The mosquitoes lay their eggs in the mud along the banks of rivers, streams and ponds. When the water rises, the eggs hatch. Those eggs can live for 10 years in the mud, so a big water year leads to a big hatch.

“Normally, this time of year our springtime areas are drying up and going away,” explained Davis Mosquito Abatement District director Gary Hatch, “but they are still of water and very productive.”

At a breeding ground in Woods Cross, they have no problem finding plenty of mosquito larvae. With so much ground to cover, they mark each zone with GPS so they have a record of everywhere they treat and how much they treat.

The larvae are treated by hand sprayers, ATVs and by airplane. The abatement district has about 40 crews working around the clock, including extra staff, to get on top of what’s promising to be an unusually busy summer.

The mosquito problem is proving to be taxing both for themselves personally and for their budget. “We’re concerned,” Gary Hatch said. “I think we’ll be OK, but we’re watching very closely.”

And they're asking people to be prepared, too, since before long, the bugs will likely be out in full force.

Mosquitoes need very little water to breed and grow. The mosquito abatement teams say almost anything that will hold water for one week or more can produce these pests.

They say the best thing to do is get rid of places where water collects:

• Drill holes in or discard old tires

• Cap hollow, open fence posts

• Clear leaves and debris from rain gutters and downspouts

• Clear grass clippings and gravel from street gutters

• Drain water from yard decorations

• Turn unused containers upside down. Wading pools, buckets, cans, barrels, scrap metal and "yard junk" are favorite areas for some mosquitoes.

Prevent standing water from becoming a breeding place:

• Change birdbath water twice every week

• Change trough water or contact Mosquito Abatement District-Davis for products that can be used in potable water

• Pour excess water from plant pots weekly

• Examine these places after rain and watering

They also want to get on top of this to reduce spread of illnesses like Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Once mosquitoes are out at night, people need to wear long sleeves and pants, and use repellents containing DEET.

For more information, call 801-544-3736, Monday-Friday, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.