Mosquitoes are well known as annoying pests and as carriers of disease-causing. Their rapid wing movement produces a distinctive high-pitched hum, and their bites cause red, itchy welts. In Alabama, there are about 60 different species of mosquitoes. Some are disease carriers; some are nuisance species, but are not known to transmit disease; and some are beneficial. Calhoun County Extension Coordinator Dr. David West says this is the season for mosquitoes. West says we've been warned for years about standing water around our homes, dwellings, schools, and other facilities but recent reminders encourage us to look past our own properties. Abandoned or poorly maintained swimming pools, either above or in-ground, are wonderful mosquito nurseries. The most effective way to protect yourself from being bitten is to avoid mosquitoes by scheduling outdoor activities before or after peak mosquito activity, which is usually in the late afternoon and at dusk. Whenever you are outdoors during mosquito season, wear long sleeves and pants. You can also use repellents containing EPA-registered products to discourage mosquitoes from biting. West adds that if people are concerned about the ZIKA virus pay close attention to media reports. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding mosquito-borne diseases and their prevention, contact your county Extension office for advice and recommendations.