Big mosquito, big problem?

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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013 5:31 pm | Updated: 10:45 am, Tue Jun 18, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY - It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a super mosquito.  With the recent rains the bigger bugs are showing up on the Suncoast. Is it a big deal?

These so-called super mosquitoes are called the Gallinipper.   They're bigger in size and in bite, and they are here.

"About two to three times larger than most mosquitoes."  Wade Brennan with Sarasota County Mosquito Management knows one when he sees one. He also knows one when he feels one. "They are painful when they bite. They can go through clothing."

ABC 7 viewer Sandi Hess Snider in North Port says they were in her home. Brennan confirms they're now finding them, too. "We did start seeing them towards the end of last week."

Agencies and biologist from around the state said recently that we could be seeing a lot more, thanks to last years rains and the larvae remaining dormant until this year's. 

However, while Brennan says north Florida is seeing more, so far here there is no reason to bug out. "The reports said that, but actually we are right in line for our normal season.  We just started last week. I am seeing between one and twenty in a trap of 400 mosquitoes."

In fact he says unlike its cousins, the behemoth breed doesn't transmit diseases like Dengue, or Yellow Fever.  Not West Nile or Encephalitis either. It does however have an appetite for those which could carry them. "They actually eat the larvae of other mosquitoes. It makes them a good mosquito. The bad part is they are so huge and alarming and they hurt when they bite. It's a balance of working with what you are trying to deal with."

Brennan says right now they are focusing on the more common pests and reminding people to empty containers collecting water and taking precautions at dusk and dawn. "When you are looking at 400 to 500 other mosquitoes that is more concerning then a few of the Gallinipper."

Mosquito managers say the good news is they have not seen many Salt Marsh mosquitoes. Those can travel long distances and are very aggressive. They have been working to get them before they become a problem this year.

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