NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Donna Johnsen describes life these days as “awful.” She says her neighborhood has turned into a miserable mosquito mess.
“We can’t even enjoy the outdoors,” Johnsen told News Channel 8. “No one will help us.”
She lives in a New Port Richey neighborhood where, she maintains, a flooded ditch behind her home is filled with creepy, crawly creatures, including mosquitoes.
“We can’t be outside, or we’re eaten,” Johnsen said.
There’s no doubt Pasco County was hit hard by the summer storms. Johnsen documented the damage from the wicked weather and showed News Channel 8 photo after photo of flooded streets.
Standing water, experts say, is the main reason mosquitoes breed at rapid rates after a massive storm. Johnsen said she called the county, the state and even FEMA. She became increasingly frustrated when no one came to help, she said. That’s when she called 8 on your Side for help.
“You’re the only one that has helped us,” Johnsen said.
Within minutes on Wednesday an inspector from the county showed up to help out by taking water samples from the flooded ditch. Pasco Mosquito Inspector Rodney Gannon understands why residents are frustrated. He showed up quickly to Johnsen’s house and began talking with neighbors. He took out a small testing kit and waded into the woods near the water to take the samples.
Gannon gave Johnsen and her neighbors a small ray of hope. “There’s no larvae in this ditch,” he said. “There are mosquitoes in the area nearby, but there are none present here.” At this point, the county plans to monitor the mosquito situation in the neighborhood.
As for Johnsen, she just wants a day where she’s not scratching and swatting at her arms and legs. “Thank you so much,” she told 8 on Your Side. “You’re the only ones who listened.”