Keys Officials: Fighting Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Is Costly

Jun 13, 2016

Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are expecting an expensive fight against the mosquitoes that carry the Zika and dengue viruses.

State health officials reported June 1 that a tourist had contracted dengue fever in Key West. It's the island chain's first dengue case since a 2009-2010 outbreak that infected dozens.

The Citizen reported the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District spent an extra $2 million during that outbreak to fight the mosquitoes that spread dengue. The same species also carry the Zika virus.

Executive Director Michael Doyle said more aerial spraying missions may be needed. The district typically conducts 10 aerial missions each summer, and says each costs about $25,000.

Doyle said the district also has ramped up its use of spray trucks and hired two additional inspectors.