ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s that time of year. As the weather warms, it’s also time to start thinking about mosquitos.

So how can you keep your porch, yard or patio from become a hot zone? KRQE News 13 spoke with Nicholas Pederson, the Albuquerque’s Urban Biology Division manager. His team has been keeping an eye on mosquitoes for years and has some advice on guarding against the seasonal wave of skeeters swarming through the city.

“They’re an absolute nuisance,” Pederson notes, adding that the bugs are not just in the Bosque. Year after year, Pederson says increased numbers of mosquitoes have been found in neighborhoods across the city.

“More and more we’re seeing establishment [of mosquitoes] in new neighborhoods. And that is impacting people in a way they’ve never seen mosquitoes in their yard before,” Pederson says.

So, what can you do? First thing is get rid of standing water.

“We see water standing in all sorts of items, things you wouldn’t necessarily think of,” Pederson says. “The water doesn’t evaporate very quickly if that’s in the shade. And it turns into an excellent breeding location for Aedes aegypti.”

That’s the technical name for the small, black and white mosquitoes that have been appearing all around Albuquerque. They can also spread dengue, Zika and other diseases. The good news is that so far, the city hasn’t seen concerning disease spread around Albuquerque.

Pederson recommends you dump any standing water around your house. He says even as little as a bottle cap worth of water is enough for mosquitoes to breed.

And water can rest almost anywhere: Discarded tires, clogged drains, even the rim of upside-down buckets provide enough water for Aedes aegypti.

So, does that mean no birdbaths? Not necessarily. They just need regular cleaning.

“It takes about 10 days for these mosquitoes to complete their [life] cycle,” Pederson says. “So, we encourage everyone to tip that water out. That’s the important first step. The second step is actually scrubbing the surface.”

“When mosquitoes lay their eggs, they lay their eggs on the edge of the surface, right above the water line. Those eggs can continue to survive even when they’re dry,” Pederson says. His recommendation is to scrub birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution.

Mosquito control is everyone’s job

Mosquitoes, of course, can fly. Aedes aegypti can fly hundreds of meters. So, the mosquitoes biting you in your backyard might actually come from your neighbors’ yards.

That means everyone has a role to play. “Even if they aren’t impacting you negatively, and even if you aren’t spending a lot of time in your backyard, the potential is there that those mosquitoes could be breeding on your property and impacting your neighbors in negative ways,” Pederson says.

The City of Albuquerque does operate mosquito treatment programs. But Pederson points out that the city can only do so much to manage the bugs.

“We aren’t always able to perform treatments that would even have any impact on these mosquitoes. They’re in private property, often in backyards, often protected by vegetation,” Pederson explains. “We do encourage the public to check their yards.”

“Just check your yard every few days or on a weekly basis,” Pederson says. “Make sure there’s no water.”