Mosquito Control on standby for possible outbreak

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SARASOTA - As the Suncoast continues to dry out from last week's rains, mosquitoes are starting to pop up, sending county officials into a race against time to keep their numbers down.

This problem spots are usually standing water, where if left undisturbed, thousands could hatch from by the end of the week. That’s what workers are trying to prevent.

According to Mark Latham, Manatee County's mosquito control director, last week’s rains from Tropical Storm Andrea could spawn this week's mosquitoes. And that’s what has his crews jumping to action. "The first thing they do is they go out in inspecting areas looking for those mosquitoes that have hatched out because of the flooding."

Workers are spraying from trucks, walking on foot, and even taking to the skies in a race against time to keep the little guys from taking flight. "We're not going to be seeing adult mosquitoes biting from this until at the earliest later this week."

County crews are fighting the problem now, but experts say you can help out too. “If you have things lying around that contain water you want to try and keep them emptied out."

Junk around the yard can make perfect hiding spots for the mosquito larvae, so be sure to pour out any standing water. Products like mosquito dunks come in handy for killing larvae in spots like bird baths or ponds, and you can find them at almost any garden store. Citronella oil can also help out in a pinch, along with chemical sprays like an insect fogger.

Just how bad things could get is anyone's guess. The only certainty right now is that the buzz of the season is here already. "We've had rains May and early June, so it will be an earlier start than people might normally see.”

You can also report mosquito problems in your neighborhood to local authorities.

For more information, visit:

Sarasota County Mosquito Management

Manatee County Mosquito Control District

Charlotte County Mosquito Control