Crews tackling mosquito problem in Sarasota County

Crews taking on mosquitoes in Sarasota County.
Crews taking on mosquitoes in Sarasota County.(WWSB)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:55 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Mosquitoes continue to be an issue on the Suncoast, especially around this time of year. Sarasota County’s Mosquito Management Services experts say this is the worst it’s been in years.

“As far as July goes, this is a lot more of an active season for mosquitoes than we’ve had in previous years,” said Manager Wade Brennan.

Excessive rain the last few weeks has been the big problem. Sarasota County’s service request board is full. County officials say crews are addressing these requests every day.

They are spraying from the air or the ground when necessary. Some of the time, residents can do their part by draining standing water in their yards. There are also experts making sure these mosquitoes aren’t spreading any diseases.

“We’re doing constant surveillance, we have traps that are out in Sarasota County, they are running five days a week,” said Brennan. “We have sentinel chickens that are placed for our disease surveillance ... We are also collecting mosquito pools.”

One Sarasota resident says it’s been a challenging couple of weeks because of all these mosquitoes.

“We definitely have noticed an increase in the infestation of mosquitoes, they seem to be out more often and they seem to be a little more vicious,” said Jesse Lazarus. “They’re biting a little more and they are hurting a little bit more when they bite.”

In Sarasota County, they also have Florida’s largest mosquitofish hatchery. These are fish that eat mosquitoes to help control the population. Mosquito experts say they are doing what they can to improve the situation.

“This is just continuing and we’re just working through it, trying to manage the mosquito population as best as we can,” said Brennan.

People are encouraged to take precautions against mosquitoes. You should wear long, loose-fitting clothes, wear repellent and try to avoid activities at dusk and dawn.

If you have questions or concerns about mosquitos in Sarasota County, call 941-861-5000. In Manatee County, call 941-981-3895.

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