BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Ah, springtime, that time of year when a young person’s thoughts turn to love, barbecuing, and – more than usual this year – mosquitoes.

Middle-aged and older people must think about that last item, too. It’s wildflower season but it’s also mosquito season, and the mosquitoes will be around a lot longer. Thanks to an abundance of water in canals, streams, and lakes, mosquitoes, and the threat of potentially deadly West Nile Virus will linger deep into fall.

Terry Knight of the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District says we haven’t seen the potential for mosquito infestation like this for 40 years.

“This one is extraordinary, to say the least,” Knight said. “What we’re getting right now from the water reports on the Kern River looks like it’s going to be comparable to 1983 …. Supervisors who worked here make comments about how tough it was to control the mosquitoes. We’re going to have thousands of acres of surface water that’s going to be available to mosquitoes.”

Michelle Corson of Kern County Public Health concurs.

“We have had so much more rain,” she said. “We have more water accumulating around us. And this is going to be a prime breeding source for these mosquitoes this year.”

What can you do about it? Well, plenty. Start by checking your yards for vessels that can hold standing water. Empty them, then check them again after your lawn sprinklers run. Make sure mosquitoes don’t invite themselves inside.

“You also want to make sure you do, now, some of those preventative things,” Corson said, “where you’re fixing your screens, making sure they’re in good repair, and your doors so that when you shut those things, those mosquitoes aren’t following you into the house.”

Make sure your pool equipment is in good working order. Mosquitoes love green pools. And use an insect spray that contains at least 25 percent Deet.

“You would spray your body down just lightly and thoroughly,” Knight said. “Either close your eyes and spray it on or you can spray it onto your hands and then wipe it onto your face.”

The Kern Mosquito Control District will be doing its part too, with education, inspections, and a truck-mounted mobile sprayer, which will be patrolling the city in the predawn hours starting June 1. The spray is a special formula.

“It’s not going to harm humans, it’s not going to harm pets, it’s not even going to harm other insects – its species-specific,” Knight said.

So, rule number one – keep your eyes open, especially right after dusk, and if you see mosquitoes, go out the next morning and look for standing water.

It’s backyard inspection time. Check those birdbaths, child’s toys, and dog dishes – anything that might hold standing water.