Wet weather leads to mosquito outbreak in Charlotte County

Published: Updated:
James Gathany / CDC / MGN

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. It’s what nightmares are made of.

A swarm of mosquitoes on the attack, leaving victims with itchy and unsightly welts that last for days.

That’s the reality for some living in the South Gulf Cove neighborhood, a community surrounded by water.

Homeowners like Mike Boulet are forced to use insect repellent whenever they go outside.

“It’s been terrible,” he said. “The mosquitoes attacked me when I brought my trash out the other day.”

But the mosquitoes are nearly impossible to escape.

“Because we had such a long drought with no rain, their eggs remained dormant,” said Scott Schermerhorn, manager of Charlotte County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control. “We suddenly started to have the high tide and sporadic rain around the marshes, which triggers a second and third brood, so we’re basically being inundated with these mosquitoes.”

Schermerhorn’s department received hundreds of calls within the last three days, but crews are unable to treat the area, as the rain would wash away the pesticides.

“We’ve seen more complaints than we ever have in years,” Schermerhorn said.

Residents are advised to use insect repellent with DEET and avoid going out at dawn and dusk until crews can control the outbreak.

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