Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando undertakes aerial attack on mosquitoes on county's east side

BROOKSVILLE — As if flooding, no electricity and a significant interruption of normalcy were not enough of a parting gift from Hurricane Irma, Hernando County's east side has also been plagued with a huge uptick in the number of buzzing and biting mosquitoes.

To combat that problem and try to head off any serious diseases the insects can spread, Hernando County notified the Florida Department of Agriculture, which last weekend conducted a major aerial spray of 127,000 acres east of the Suncoast Parkway. The cost will be paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"The decision for aerial spraying was made due to the overwhelming increase in the mosquito population, with the advisement of county health officials and in direct response to citizens' recent requests,'' county spokeswoman Virginia Singer said when the spraying was announced. "At this time, there have been no reported or confirmed mosquito-borne diseases in Hernando County."

Keeping Hernando safe from dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus was the reason for the spraying, said Sandra Fisher-Grainger, the county's mosquito control director.

Before the aerial assault, traps that might normally contain 500 mosquitoes were showing 26,000. The hope is that new examinations will reduce that number by 90 percent, Fisher-Grainger said. Some of the 10 species caught in the traps are ones that carry disease, she said.

Delayed at first by weather forecasts, the spraying by contractor Vector Disease Control Inc. started Saturday evening. But the planes only operated a couple of hours because winds began to pick up. The operation was completed Sunday. The last time the county turned to aerial spraying was after Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.

The west side of the county was not part of the aerial spraying because any mosquito increases there were not exponential like the ones in Ridge Manor and Brooksville. Fisher-Grainger also noted that many of the mosquito issues in the Spring Hill area are related to containers breeding insects, and dumping water from the containers is the best way to get those infestations under control.

Singer said aerial spraying "requires the controlled use of chemicals, and action is taken to protect the public as well as domestic and wild animals. All public health interests are considered when taking action for aerial spraying. Multiple state and federal agencies are involved to assure such public interests are considered and met.''

Contact Barbara Behrendt at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

Calvary Christian’s record win streak ends in state final

FORT MYERS — One of the most impressive streaks in high school baseball came to an end early Friday morning.Calvary Christian lost the Class 4A state championship 5-1 to Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian at Hammond Stadium in a game that ended ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA — Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didn’t start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

Bucs’ Ali Marpet: NFL flip-flopping on anthem policy ‘a little bit odd’

TAMPA — This much is clear: The National Football League is focused on getting rid of kneeling players.That was the league's announcement Wednesday in requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games or possibly have their tea...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechki...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies: Hours after birth, newborn abandoned in north Tampa

Deputies: Hours after birth, newborn abandoned in north Tampa

TAMPA — An abandoned a newborn baby was found in the University area on Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.A passerby found the baby boy wrapped in a red towel near the intersection of N 18th Street and E 143rd Avenue at ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Driver killed after colliding with dump truck in south Hillsborough

Driver killed after colliding with dump truck in south Hillsborough

WIMAUMA — A 30-year-old man died on Thursday after his sedan crashed head-on into a dump truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 6 p.m. on U.S. 301 near Lightfood Road.Gerardo Yslas of Immokalee was driving a 2012...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Thurs., May 24, midday:173952098e_SRit83991Thurs., May 24, evening:146065414e_SRit29962Mega MillionsToda...
Updated: 5 hours ago