Drought to blame for Marco Island Mosquitoes

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 22:51:13-04
Armed with a map, and 12 gallons of mosquito killer, Collier County Mosquito Control Director Patrick Linn prepares his small helicopter for take off.
His route early Friday morning takes him over Island of Capri, Marco Island and Goodland to tackle the region's vicious mosquitoes.
The amount of treatment sprayed is equivalent to a half an ounce per acre.
"What we term as ultra low volume," said Linn.
But that's not the reason why you may still find yourself itching.
It's the breed of mosquito, the Salt Water Marsh Mosquito is hard to get rid of.
"Since they come in on the wind, we'll knock them down, and it's reasonably effective, but then they will back on the east and southeast winds."
Linn says the mosquitoes hatch in protected areas where they cannot spray, like Rookery Bay and Picayune Strand State Forest.
"We're currently talking with the state forestry folks, about the ability to use larvaecide, and control arthropods in that area."
While many people blame heavy rains and flooding for the mosquito invasion, Linn says the dry winter and clear nights we just had is the real culprit.
"The warm nights, the mosquitoes will come off in a brood, all at once, under the right conditions they really like to travel on a full moon."
These same mosquitoes have been spotted as far as Immokalee, 35 miles away.
Although Friday's treatment is in the books, the fight against these mosquitoes could last all summer.
"Just remember that when November comes, it will be beautiful again."
Mosquito control says you should never put bug spray on your dog or cat, because they could lick their fur and get sick.  Instead talk with your vet about what you should use.