Mosquito Help: A county-by-county guide to battling the biting insects

Author: Carolyn Dolcimascolo
Published: Updated:

Many consider Southwest Florida a paradise. It seems the mosquitoes agree. Our bodies of water, frequent rain and soaked ground provide the perfect breeding ground for the insects.

We asked Florida Gulf Coast University Professor Joyce Fassbender a few questions about the buzzing pests. Dr. Fassbender is an instructor and entomologist in the Biological Sciences Department.

Q1. Why are mosquitoes attracted to certain people more than others?

A1. Mosquitoes are attracted to certain people due to chemical compounds produced in their skin. The higher the levels of these chemical compounds in their skin, the more attractive the person is to mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there’s not much anyone can do about it other than wear mosquito repellant because it’s genetic.


Q2. Is it true that burning coffee grounds will keep mosquitoes away?

A2. Unfortunately, there’s no research showing this to be effective. Insects may avoid smoky areas, but the amount of smoke generally needed for this would also be unpleasant for people.

Q3. Besides getting rid of standing water, what advice do you have for people to make their area less appealing to the insects?

A3. Other methods to decrease mosquitoes in the yard are to reduce cover for them to hide: trim trees and bushes, put a fan under carport/patio coverings and put away patio furniture when not in use. Mosquitoes tend not to be strong fliers, so a fan may blow them away from your gathering. Also, one additional thing about standing water, it also occurs in places we don’t think of, such as tree holes, open vents and flowerpots.

Q4. Is rain-soaked grass a breeding ground?


A4. Extended standing water in grass, such as puddles that don’t drain away for days, could be a breeding ground, but temporary puddles (only there for a couple of hours) aren’t around long enough for mosquitoes to develop.

Q5. This is anecdotal, but I’ve gotten bitten a few times since our recent rains. The bites seemed more painful. Are mosquitoes getting more resilient? Bigger? Stronger?

A5. It’s more likely just the species that’s been biting you. Some species may release a less effective numbing agent or be less efficient at finding a vein so their bites can be more painful than other species.

Q6. What about pets? Do I need to be concerned that a mosquito will bite my dog or cat? Do they pose any danger to pets?

A6. As for pets, the issue isn’t the mosquito itself but rather the pathogens that the mosquito can carry. Like with humans, mosquitoes can transmit viruses to our pets. Also, mosquitoes can transmit heartworms to dogs, so if your dog goes outside at all, it should be on a heartworm prevention treatment, if possible.



Mosquito Treatment Map & Schedule

Charlotte County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control will provide Gambusia, mosquitofish, free of charge to citizens with ornamental ponds, rain barrels, or other areas that hold water for long periods of time.

To receive notifications when mosquito treatments are planned for your neighborhood, you can subscribe to Mosquito Treatment Alert Notifications.


Collier Mosquito Control District

Report mosquitoes

Treatment map


For any questions regarding the mosquito program, please call the DeSoto Board of County Commissioners at 863-993-4800.




Hendry County Mosquito Control Program – Hendry County contracts with Clarke Environmental to control mosquitoes.

Mosquito Hotline: 800-203-6485.


Lee County Mosquito Control District

To request service, click here.

Tires are the perfect breeding habitat for mosquitoes that can transmit Zika, dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and dog heartworm. Tires left outside soon fill up with rainwater that is difficult to remove or slow to evaporate.

stacked vehicle tire lot mosquitoes
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

You can dispose of two regular car tires (with or without rims) weekly in your regular household garbage. Larger tires must be taken to the Resource Recovery Facility in Buckingham for disposal.

LCMCD also utilizes SIT, Sterile Insect Technique, where lab-reared sterile male mosquitoes are released into an environment with wild females. When they mate, the female mosquitoes will not produce viable offspring.

Another technique used at LCMCD, Gambusia or mosquito fish. To make a request, call LCMCD at 239-694-2174 or email

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