'Monster mosquitoes' unlikely to hit Suncoast

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Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 3:23 pm | Updated: 6:04 pm, Mon Jun 17, 2013.

SARASOTA - They're as much a part of summer as cold lemonade and soaring temperatures: mosquitoes.  And experts had feared the state could be doing battle this summer with what some call the 'monster mosquito," the gallinipper.

"The main concern to most citizens is that it's so large, and when it does bite it can hurt," said Wade Brennan with Sarasota County Mosquito Control.

Almost double the size of your average mosquito, gallinippers can even bite through your clothes and feed all day long.

Some experts believe that all the rain from last year's tropical storms could mean higher than normal numbers of gallinipper eggs hatching this year.

"In northern Florida, they did see a huge increase in the gallinipper in 2012," said Brennan.

Brennan says the gallinippers have always been in our area, just not in large numbers. That's something he expects to see again this year too.

"We'll definitely see them, it's just that they should be in very low numbers," said Brennan.

Despite a bite that some say feels like getting stuck with a needle, Brennan says there are some benefits to having low numbers of gallinippers around.

"When they're larva, they actually eat other larvae," said Brennan, "so it's kind of nice but the cost to effect is that nobody likes to see them land on them that's for sure."

And while authorities don't expect high numbers of gallinippers in our area, they say in terms of what the rest of the season could bring, it's just too early to tell.

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