New mosquito spray prevents disease, introduced in Lee County

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

There is a new way to fight biting, blood-thirsty bugs in Lee County. It’s meant to protect public health, but it could come at a noisy price.

Lee County Mosquito Control District is unveiling new technology to battle mosquitoes, a machine that releases a spray to kill mosquito larva, preventing them from being a nuisance or health hazard.

“This particular species is one that’s capable of spreading dengue fever, the chikungunya virus, Zika virus and it’s one that lives right around us,” said Eric Jackson with the district. “It prefers us as a host to get blood from.”

The district said the new machine is aimed to protect health. Jackson said bacteria coming out of a chimney-like device will kill mosquito larva in plants and bodies of water outside homes, attacking the bugs before they are fully grown and can bite people. The bacteria spray also stops the most dangerous of mosquito species from carrying disease.

Joey Mannibo lives off McGregor Boulevard, where the mosquito district planned its very first mission with the new machine.

”They come in, and they just disrupt me wanting to work outside,” Mannibo said.

Mannibo was concerned about potential noise from these machines being run near his home during the night when he is putting his kids to bed and also trying to get sleep.

“The noise would be a problem sure,” Mannibo said. “How long is it going to be is it going to be, an hour?”

The machines will only operate at night. The district said mosquitoes are more active after dark, and it said the substance sprayed won’t harm people or their pets, but it is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil.

Jackson said homeowners will only hear the machine for a few minutes while it runs on their street, a sound that some say is better than hearing the pesky bugs in their ears.

“If people are bothered by mosquitoes, and it helps, then I think people are going to put up with it,” Stephen Anderson said.

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