Florida’s rainy season is upon us and rain means mosquitoes. Certain types of mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus, which can be deadly to humans and horses. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2012 there were 73 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Florida, resulting in three deaths. Standing water is a breeding ground for these pesky guys and they only need a quarter-inch of water to breed. Hernando County Mosquito Control uses several techniquesto kill mosquito larvae including using spray trucks that operate at night to kill adult mosquitoes and using larvicide techniques in DRA’s (drainage retention areas), ditches, ponds, creeks, canals, swamps, and other areas prone to standing water. You can also help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your neighborhood and protect yourself by doing the following:
- Regularly check your home, lawn, and garden and dump out any standing water that has collected regularly.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters or downspouts that retain water are also a mosquito breeding ground.
- Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Contact the Mosquito Control Department if you live next to a foreclosed or abandoned property with a pool. Condemned swimming pools from foreclosures, left without pumps running and cages torn, have become a mosquito breeding paradise.
- Use mosquito repellent if you are outdoors during the dawn and dusk hours. You should also wear long sleeves and long pants in the evening.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Use netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
- Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
If residents still have mosquitoes after checking their property for standing water, they should call Mosquito Control for staff to come to the area to inspect and treat for mosquito breeding at (352) 540-6552. For additional information check out the Mosquito Control website at http://www.hernandocounty.us/mosquito/.