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After a Respite, Mosquitoes Are Back

For all the damage Hurricane Irma caused in 2017, there was a silver lining: it seemed to wipe out a lot of salt marsh mosquitoes. But nearly three years later, they’re back. And they are not the only pests around.

“What we are seeing in Collier County right now, is that the salt marsh mosquitoes are prevalent along the coastal areas, but because of the rains that we’re having, the fresh water species of mosquitoes are becoming a little more noticeable on the interior portions of the county. Our data is also showing that there’s a lot of no-see-ums throughout the county,” said Robin King, Director of Communications for the Collier Mosquito Control District.

She explained what sets the salt marsh mosquitos apart. “The difference between the salt marsh mosquito and most of the other species we have here in Collier County is that it’s an aggressive, all-day biter. Typically, mosquitoes bite at dusk and dawn. But this mosquito is aggressive and it will bite all day long.”

If that wasn’t enough, West Nile disease has popped up in the Miami area in recent days.

“Is it possible to get it in Collier County? Absolutely," King said. "We have the same mosquito here that they have on the other coast, that’s capable of transmitting that virus.

King encourages people to keep mosquitoes from breeding:

“Look around the house. If there’s anything at all holding water, you want to dump that out. At least once a week," she said. "If you’ve got bromeliads, spray them out once a week. Because anything that can hold water is mosquito habitat. They can lay their eggs, and only five to seven days later, we’ve got adult mosquitoes buzzing around.”

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Cary Barbor is the local host of All Things Considered and a reporter for WGCU. She was a producer for Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius XM, where she hosted a live interview show with authors of new books called Books and Authors. She was a producer for The Leonard Lopate Show, a live, daily show that covered arts, culture, politics, and food on New York City’s public radio station WNYC. She also worked as a producer on Studio 360, a weekly culture magazine; and The Sunday Long Read, a show that features in-depth conversations with journalists and other writers. She has filed stories for The Pulse and Here & Now. In addition to radio, she has a career writing for magazines, including Salon, Teen Vogue, New York, Health, and More. She has published short stories and personal essays and is always working on a novel. She was a Knight Journalism Fellow, where she studied health reporting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and followed epidemiologists around Kenya and Alaska. She has a B.A. in English from Lafayette College and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Massachusetts.