The disease-carrying mosquito population is at a six-year-high, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. Sampling shows that species known to carry West Nile Virus and spread other deadly diseases are present at levels nearly three times the average for September.
“Because of this week’s rain, we have standing water and that of course has flooded places where mosquito eggs are laid,” said University of Florida urban entomologist Paul Koehler. “So, they’re going to hatch and usually after about 10 days is when you see a huge emergence of mosquitoes after the recent rains.”
Most Floridians are quite familiar with these tiny creatures.
“They can be pretty annoying,” said Lake Wauburg lifeguard Drew Vought.
Vought said the constant buzzing and biting is a problem, and that he frequently comes home with mosquito bites all over his legs.
The Alachua County Health Department encourages everyone to take basic precautions to limit exposure, such as covering skin and using mosquito repellent. Repellent can be sprayed on both skin and clothing.
Vought said looks forward to the first hard freeze of the season, when nature will turn the tables on the bugs.