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How to Tamp Down Disease-Transmitting Mosquito Populations

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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 news editor for WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native but has found a home reporting Florida's stories. You may reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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