Home / Environment / How to Tamp Down Disease-Transmitting Mosquito Populations

How to Tamp Down Disease-Transmitting Mosquito Populations

By

Even with the recent heavy rains bringing more mosquitos to the area, University of Florida Entomologist Walter Tabachnick says most are harmless.

Rain is always going to increase mosquito populations, Tabachnick said, but the danger comes from those that transmit diseases.

“There are roughly 80 or so different species, and most of them are a nuisance and a pest,” he said, “and only five or six might be dangerous to the public in terms of being able to transmit a pathogen that could cause a disease.”

Still, it is important for the public to pay attention to reports by local health officials about increase in populations of disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Tabachnick adds “there are many organizations throughout the state, particularly the mosquito control districts that are almost in every county in Florida and the county department of health that pay attention to the degree of transmission that may be going on.”

An increase in transmission would result in these organizations informing the public immediately to take the appropriate precautions.

Tabachnick does advise there are measures people can take on their own to prevent those summer scratches.

1. Use deet-based inspect repellent. Tabachnick says that deet-based bug repellent is more effective and longer wearing than other repellents.

2. Reduce standing water in homes. According to Tabachnick, it will help decrease the places mosquitoes like to breed.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

Check Also

Anthony Dennis, the environmental health director at the Alachua County Health Department, sets up a generation one BG-Sentinel trap, which is used to trap Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are the species that carry various diseases, including Zika. Dennis is planning to place BG-Sentinel traps near already existing light traps in the county (Rachel Mowat/WUFT News).

Mosquito Trapping Begins for the Summer Season

By using chickens and mosquito traps, the Alachua County Health Department has begun collecting data to learn more about potential diseases and local threats.