Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mosquito swarm follows Debby, Hernando official warns

BROOKSVILLE — As if Tropical Storm Debby's torrential rains didn't bring enough misery this week, Hernando County residents must now brace for an aftermath they probably would rather avoid — a massive mosquito outbreak.

According to the county's mosquito control manager, Dr. Gunagye Hu, residents can expect an explosion of the winged bloodsuckers over the next week or so as larvae hatch in low-lying areas swollen from the more than 15 inches of rain that fell last weekend and early this week.

"We're going to see many more mosquitoes than we would this time of the year because we have standing water in places where we don't normally have it," Hu said Friday.

Fighting the mega-outbreak is likely to be a tough task due to budget constraints, said Jesse Goodwin, assistant director of environmental services for the county. The county has budgeted just $630,000 for mosquito control this year — less than a quarter of what neighboring Citrus County budgets annually.

Goodwin said the county has six trucks with foggers and four employees to run them, which will likely mean his department will have to hire temporary workers to help pick up the slack.

"I have no doubt that we'll be out spraying just about anytime of the day for the next few weeks," Goodwin said.

Hu said he is less worried about the county's rivers and lakes than he is about low-lying places that rarely have standing water and aren't likely to have natural enemies that eat mosquito larvae.

Among the areas of greatest concern are low-lying lands just east of U.S. 19 and north of Cortez Boulevard, along Citrus Way north of Centralia Road, areas surrounding Masaryktown and the boggy regions in and around the city of Brooksville.

Although July is normally the height of the West Nile virus season, Hu doesn't view the increase in the mosquito population as an added threat. So far, none of the county's sentinel chickens have tested positive for the virus, which can be spread to humans and cause inflammation of the brain.

Hu said that he and his staff plan to step up monitoring of the county's 26 mosquito traps and six sentinel chicken sites in coming weeks as the weather gets warmer.

Meanwhile, Hu suggests that residents 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.

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

Mosquito swarm follows Debby, Hernando official warns 06/29/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017

    Blogs

    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  5. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.