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FIGHT THE BITE | Mosquitos in Collier County at summertime levels

Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-01 17:47:40-05

NAPLES, Fla. — You might have noticed a little more mosquito activity in Collier County, and that is in part due to the recent rain. But, the numbers that Collier Mosquito Control District are finding are typical of the summer months and not the end of fall.

"We usually don't see the number we are seeing in the winter," said Dr. Keira Lucas, the deputy executive director of Collier Mosquito Control District.

The largest numbers are being found in places like Ava Maria, Immokalee and Golden Gate.

"Some of the recent rains we saw two weeks ago have resulted in an increased number of mosquitoes," said Dr. Lucas.

That heavy rain came on November 15 when places in Collier County saw three plus inches of rain, then five to seven days later those same places saw an influx of mosquitoes.

"We are seeing Culex Mosquitos which can spread West Nile Virus, so it is really important for us to be vigilant in our treatments," said Dr. Lucas.

That said, West Nile Virus has not been detected yet.

Dr. Lucas says the recent cold snap likely reduced mosquito activity, but the cooler temperatures also make controlling mosquitoes more difficult.

"Once it goes below 60 degrees our treatment materials aren't as effective, and we can't send our planes up,” said Dr. Lucas. “So, we usually have to wait for it to warm up before we can do any treatment."

Which is both good news and bad news, especially with warmer weather over the weekend.

"We are going to see an increase in the number of mosquitoes, but we are going to be able to treat for them," said Dr. Lucas.

Collier Mosquito Control District says if you have standing water in your backyard, you should dump it out. They say a single mosquito can lay hundreds of eggs in just a quarter inch of water. If you can't remove the standing water, the control district will give you free mosquito fish.

"Mosquito fish are great for things like bird baths, broken water fountains, retention ponds, the squalls in front of their home if they are holding water,” said Dr. Lucas. They really can be used anywhere that you can't dump the standing water."

The control district says these fish can eat up to 100 mosquito larva per day.