Happy Wednesday! We are half way through another week. Crazy?! We are still in need of water here in Florida! Did anyone do the rain dance last week?! :) As we all know with summer comes rain, and with rain comes our favorite friends....mosquitoes! I wanted to do a blog on mosquito's because it is almost season, the director of Collier County Mosquito Control, Patrick Linn, is actually a professor I had two semesters ago, and the research entomologist, Mark Clifton, is also a professor I had :) Unfortunately they left us as professors to work for CMCD
:(.... Also Zika is still an issue, even though it may not be in the news like when the first outbreak happened its still around. These pesky winged creatures are still a threat. Please read an excerpt from a recent article
"The salt marsh mosquito, aedes taeniorhychus, is almost entirely a nuisance mosquito," said Patrick Linn. As executive director of the Collier Mosquito Control District, he is the area's first line of defense for Zika, which has been implicated in paralysis and birth defects, and is a growing epidemic throughout the tropical zone of North and South America.The two breeds of mosquito that are carriers for Zika, dengue and Chikungunya — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopict — thrive in containers, like plastic tubs and bird baths, that hold water. The female lays the eggs on the walls of a container filled with water."We have had one confirmed case of Zika in Collier County, and that was travel-related," brought back from a destination where the infection has taken hold, said Linn. "You can take steps to protect yourself. The community can exert enormous positive impact. Buckets, flowerpots, tarps, yard debris, birdbaths, anywhere with standing water is a breeding ground for aegypti," the primary Zika carrier, he said. "Tires are a big offender."While insect repellent with DEET will repel the mosquitoes, you cannot avoid them by not going out at dawn or dusk. "They're daytime biters," and often found in residential neighborhoods once a population is established. Fittingly enough when combating a flying foe, the CMCD wages an air war against the mosquito. Anyone who has lived in the area long enough shares the memory of being awakened at dawn by a string of DC-3s roaring overhead at treetop level spewing clouds of fog, prompting the belief we were being attacked by the Cuban Air Force. It has been 15 years since the CMCD last flew the DC-3, and they have gone to low volume spraying from a much fixed wing aircraft and helicopters."That was diesel fuel and Baytex," Linn said of the old-school approach. "Now we use ultra low volume, very tiny droplets, just one quarter of an ounce per acre." The aerial spraying is augmented with truck-mounted and handheld sprayers, particularly effective against the Zika-carrying aegypti mosquitoes. "They tend to be shy," he said.And what about eradicating mosquitoes altogether, as some have proposed?"It would be nice to live in a world without mosquitoes, but they've always been here," said Linn, raising also the possible unintended consequences of interfering with nature and the food chain. "Besides, we can't."
As stated the Zika carrying mosquitoes are daytime biters, and they populate in containers of standing water, bird baths, old tires abandoned containers, even holes in trees. Once they populate in any of these types of areas they can be a nuisance for an entire neighborhood. They recommend long sleeves, pants, and approved spray to avoid getting bit.
You can go to the link below to see a recent interview with Mr. Linn on mosquitoes and the battle against them.
We wish you safe travels if you are heading north for the summer. As always if you need anything please reach out to us via email, website, or a phone call. If you have any recommendations for the website or something you would like us to research and know more about feel free to reach out!