HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) — Standing water means lots of mosquitoes are hanging in the air. And with the recent rain in the Tampa Bay area, mosquito control officers in Hillsborough County are staying busy trying to control the flying insects. It starts with Hillsborough County Mosquito Control workers searching standing water for larvae to see how bad the problem is.
“They go from stage one to stage four. When they’re in the fourth stage they’re flying around. What I tell everyone is if you look down in this cup, there are probably 20 mosquitoes in there,” said Steve Sullivan, control officer. County workers have conducted 293 spray missions so far this year. Usually they have less 200.
“It is a big problem at this point in time. Because in addition to the very large number of mosquitoes, we also have circulation of the virus called West Nile,” said Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Director Carlos Fernandes. To fight it, they’ve sprayed some 500-thousand acres in Hillsborough County this year.
And this week will target the Eastern and Southwestern parts of the county, Wednesday, Aug. 19, from 8:15 p.m. to 1 a.m., by air. If weather or mechanical issues prevent this treatment Wednesday, the mission will be rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 20, or Friday, Aug. 21, from 8:15 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Here’s a look at the areas affected:
North Boundary: East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
South Boundary: Hopewell Road
East Boundary: South Forbes Road
West Boundary: North Valrico Road
North Boundary: Bloomingdale Drive
South Boundary: 21st Avenue SW
East Boundary: South Kings Avenue
West Boundary: Tampa Bay (water body)
Here are some 8 On Your Side tips to keep mosquitos from breeding near your home:
• Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, buckets, watering cans, kiddie pools, and any other containers where rain water has collected.
• Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that may collect water.
• Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.
• Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that do not accumulate water.
• Maintain swimming pools in good condition and chlorination.
Also, keep in mind, drain and cover.
“Drain anything that is around your house that can accumulate these amounts of water. It is a habitat for mosquitoes to lay eggs and cover is for you not to go outside exposing your skin for the mosquitoes to come and have a blood meal,” said Fernandes.
For more information on this spraying, contact Hillsborough County at (813) 272-5900 or visit the Mosquito Control webpage at http://www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Mosquito