Mosquitoes are Out and Counties are Fighting Back
Published July 2nd, 2012
By: Yaremi Farinas
Tropical storm Debby is the storm the keeps on giving.
Now mosquitoes are out and it's worse in certain parts of North Central Florida.
All that leftover standing water is acting as an incubator for the bugs.
Officials in Columbia, Putnam and Bradford counties are all mosquito spraying.
In Starke, residents told us they've been battling mosquitoes for the past couple of days.
They said they'd rather spend their time inside their home, mosquito bite -free.
"Their everywhere. you can hardly move," said Mary Powell.
Powell of Starke said the mosquitoes were bad before tropical storm Debby, but now they are even worse.
"It's hurry up open the door, get inside, shut the door. A lot of slapping," said Powell.
She said the mosquitoes are the size of her pinky fingernail.
She doesn't seem to be the only one who's noticed the increasing population of mosquitoes in Bradford County.
Jennifer Tyler told us she has to spray herself with mosquito repellent at least three times a day.
"The way my husband put it is you can actually feel them hitting you. That's how big they are," said Tyler.
Her legs are filled with mosquito bites.
Michael Heeder from Bradford County Emergency Management said the standing water is one reason there are so many mosquitoes.
"We are going out. We are being very proactive in getting our mosquito spraying vehicles out on the roads that are passable and spraying in those neighborhoods with the greatest request of needs," said Heeder.
He said the county is hoping to get help from the state.
They've requested assistance on spraying certain areas they can't get to with a car. He told us homeowners have an important role in reducing the mosquito population.
"The removal of leaves from gutters or down spouts will go a long way of removing the mosquito population. Old tires or bowls that may be in the yard even food bowls, the water should be dumped out and refreshed daily to prevent any mosquito larvae from growing and developing in that water," said Heeder.
Residents like Powell are already a step ahead. Trying to avoid getting attacked.
"We've emptied standing water to try to eliminate as much as possible, but they are think really think right now," said Powell.
Heeder said it is important to read the ingredients before spraying children with mosquito repellent. As for your pets, he said it's best if you don't spray them at all.
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