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Mosquito population on the rise in inland Collier

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-29 19:29:33-04

People living in some inland parts of Collier County are seeing - and feeling - a spike in the mosquito population.

"The mosquitoes have been so bad for a week," said Rebecca East of Immokalee. "I've been getting bit like crazy."

Earlier this week, Collier Mosquito Control caught 82,048 mosquitoes in one trap in Immokalee. CMC spokeswoman Robin King said they aren't used to seeing those kind of numbers until later in the summer.

"It's a little unusual to see that many this early in the year, but we're seeing the numbers creep up as the rains increase," King said.

Collier Mosquito Control flew a spraying mission over Immokalee Wednesday night, after seeing the abnormal amount of mosquitoes in the trap. They're also relocating more of their traps inland.

"We're slowly migrating our traps from the coastal areas inland to Golden Gate Estates, Immokalee, Ave Maria...those areas," King said.

King said that it only takes a week for mosquito larvae to become adults. She said that homeowners can help control their numbers by getting rid of any standing water around their homes.

"We are reminding residents to drain and dump any water in containers standing around their homes," King said. "That's where these mosquitoes like to breed."

She added that starting in July, Collier Mosquito Control will be offering homeowners a new way to control mosquitoes: a species of freshwater fish that eat mosquito larvae, which can be put in any standing water. The larvae-eating fish will be free to Collier County residents.