Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Aerial attack on mosquitoes in Hernando was a success, officials say

BROOKSVILLE — Battling a threefold increase in the mosquito population in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby, Hernando County Mosquito Control launched a massive aerial assault Wednesday night in an effort to control the pesky bloodsuckers.

Aircraft under contract by the state Department of Agriculture sprayed more than 140,000 acres throughout the county with Dibrom, a low-level organophosphate insecticide designed to kill adult mosquitoes.

County mosquito control manager Gunagye Hu said the aerial application began after 8 p.m. and was concentrated mainly in rural areas of the county that are not easily served by spray trucks.

"There are many areas that still have standing water, and that has allowed mosquitoes to multiply beyond what we usually see this time of year," Hu said. "Our hope is that this will slow the reproductive rate until the water dries up."

Hu said the one-time spraying effort, which concentrated on areas such as Royal Highlands, Lake Lindsey, Masaryktown and Ridge Manor, was paid for by the state and will not come out of the county's $630,000 mosquito budget.

Designated wildlife habitats such as the Weekiwachee Preserve and the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, as well as the Withlacoochee State, were not part of the spraying effort.

The announcement of the aerial spraying resulted in dozens of phone calls to Mosquito Control from residents who were worried that the chemicals might cause harm to domestic animals and wildlife such as bees, butterflies and fish.

Hu said that Dibrom has been in use for two decades and meets all federal pesticide safety guidelines, and that spraying at night would lessen the impact on insects that don't fly after dark.

Meanwhile, Hu suggests that residents continue to take precautions against mosquito bites, particularly during the dusk and dawn hours, when the insects are most active.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

. fast facts

Mosquito tips

The Five D's: Tips to reduce the risk of mosquito bites

Dawn and dusk: Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are thirsty. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.

Dress: Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.

DEET: When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, use repellents containing DEET. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.

Drain: Check around your home to rid the area of all standing water. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as a quarter-inch of water. Make sure pools and spas have continuous circulation and appropriate chlorination to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Source: Hernando County Mosquito Control

Aerial attack on mosquitoes in Hernando was a success, officials say 07/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty

    Politics

    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.

  2. Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire 'private briefings' on 2016 campaign, report says

    Nation

    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.

    Paul Manafort, then Donald Trump's campaign chairman, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. [Associated Press]
  3. Tampa girl, 4, dies of gunshot reaching for candy

    News

    TAMPA — One day last week, 4-year-old Yanelly Zoller reached into her grandmother's purse looking for candy, her father says.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  4. Mikhail Sergachev begins real Lightning audition vs. Carolina Hurricanes

    Lightning Strikes

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The spotlight will remain on Mikhail Sergachev throughout the Lightning preseason.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) on the ice during hockey training camp in preparation for the 2017-2018 season in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  5. Tampa police search for man in connection to Sunday killing (w/ video)

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police released surveillance video of a man they believe might have information about a Sunday morning fatal shooting.