Fighting mosquito breeding grounds in Collier County

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Mosquito Control Collier District looking for larvae in still bodies of water. (CREDIT: WINK News)

All the flooding from the weekend storm is leading to another problem, pesky mosquitos. Collier Mosquito Control District is prepared for the task already out working to mitigate the problem. 

Trucks are spraying parts of Collier County to try and keep larvae from ever forming into adults. Crews are looking for any and all still bodies of water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos to multiply.  

Andrea McKinney is a Public Outreach Specialist for the Collier Mosquito Control District, “We’re on it, this morning our field technicians were out collecting data.”  

In just a small body of water, hundreds, maybe even thousands of larvae can exist and you can’t really see them. The larvae are tiny and underwater is where they grow, then fly away ready to wreak havoc all over Southwest Florida.  

From egg to adult the process is fast, “It can take as little as five to seven days,” said McKinney. Since the insects are so fast Collier Mosquito Control District has to be fast too. The very reason the district started spraying Monday night in Naples Park.  

Kristine Hollingsworth with Florida Department of Health in Collier County says, “Drain and cover.” She is the Public Information Officer for the agency and wants to remind everyone to get rid of any standing water around your property, “Mosquitos can breed in about one teaspoon or about a bottle cap or water,” Hollingsworth said. 

The weekend rain could be problematic this week, even raising some health concerns. Hollingsworth listed off a handful of mosquito-borne illnesses, “West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Zika Virus,” all from mosquitos and some that can have severe health consequences.  

Hollingsworth suggests using repellant with Deet and if you have infants in your household you need to take extra measures to protect them, “Mosquito netting is essential to keeping them safe.” 

If you have a lake or ditch you want to treat, Collier Mosquito Control District has you covered. All you need to do is fill out a form on the district’s website and you can go pick up mosquito fish for free.  They are a biological control and their favorite snack: larvae.  

McKinney says there are more than 50 species of mosquitoes in Florida and it’s CMCD’s job to track them. Every week the agency traps the biting insects to bring them in for testing. Good news right now is there are no mosquito-borne illnesses but we could definitely see more of them in the coming days.  

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