Mosquitoes in Florida
Mosquitoes are one of the most troublesome insects in Florida because they carry serious diseases. There are many different mosquito species found in Florida, both native and invasive.
The mosquitoes that are generally considered the most serious threats are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, both of which are vectors of Zika virus. In 2016, the following mosquito-borne diseases were reported in the state:
- West Nile Virus
- Eastern equine encephalitis is an issue among horse populations.
Deter Mosquitoes in FL
While Florida has organized state and local mosquito control organizations, homeowners and local pest management companies can be even more effective in reducing the impact of mosquitoes.
Some things that can be done to deter and control the pests include:
- Reduction or elimination of water sources on property.
- Regularly inspecting for accumulations of water that will support mosquito development.
Some examples of such sites include:
- Small streams
- Ponds where runoff water accumulates
- Tree holes
- Clogged storm gutters and downspouts
- Jars and cans
- Abandoned or poorly maintained swimming pools
- Poorly maintained or infrequently used boats
- Tires that collect and retain water (perhaps the most important).
- Pest Control Products: The uses of pest management products are also very helpful when combating mosquitoes. Chief among these are products applied to vegetation that mosquitoes use as resting sites and mosquito development inhibitors that can be applied to standing water.
- Mosquito Repellents: There are several mosquito repellents that can prove useful. However, regardless of what repellents you decide to use, always make sure to carefully follow the directions for the safest application.
- Protective Clothing: Wear clothing that covers the parts of the body where mosquitoes bite.
- Additional Information: The University of Florida Entomology Department, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and your family doctor are great sources of information for mosquito control.
There are many other tools and products that can help when it comes to mosquitoes. Some of these are more effective than others.
When in doubt about a product, it is wise to contact your own pest management professional (PMP) or one who works for the state or local mosquito abatement district.
All of the above recommendations will help residents avoid mosquitoes, as well as reduce the risk of acquiring a mosquito-borne disease.