The Keys are known to be home to Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that can transmit dengue — along with other diseases like Zika — to humans.

"Unfortunately we have the perfect storm," said Andrea Leal, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. "In 2019, we saw more imported cases of dengue fever in the state of Florida than we've seen, ever. And so we're all on guard … it's just a matter of time before we start seeing locally-acquired cases."

There’s now one more virus South Floridians should be vigilant to avoid: Mosquitoes have been biting people across the region, infecting them with the West Nile virus.

It’s getting harder to kill mosquitoes spreading West Nile in South Florida.

The plentiful southern house mosquitoes can breed in drainage ponds, clogged storm drains, flower pots and more places than the better known Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. That water is more polluted with chemicals, making the mosquitoes more resistant to insecticides, said University of Florida entomologist Eva Buckner.

“There's just so many inputs that the mosquitoes are exposed to when they're developing in this water,” she said.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board approved a trial Tuesday of genetically modified mosquitoes on the island chain.

This would be the first U.S. trial of the genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit diseases like Zika and dengue.

Miami-Dade County passed 30 West Nile virus cases as the Department of Health announced seven more.

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County announced seven more residents have contracted the mosquito-borne illness from local transmission. This brings the county’s total of West Nile virus cases this year to 33.

Help Prevent Mosquito Breeding

Aug 10, 2020

West Nile virus was detected recently in Lee and Collier counties. Prevent its spread by keeping mosquitoes from breeding around your home.

Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes Resist Insecticide

Aug 10, 2020

Researchers have found that two breeds of mosquitoes common in Florida have become resistant to pyrethroids, a class of insecticide commonly used against them.

Dr. Keira Lucas, Director of Research for the Collier Mosquito Control District, participated in published studies showing the resistance.

Antibody testing in the Key Largo area has identified another 11 cases of dengue fever, bringing the total this year to 37.


Health officials in the two South Florida counties have confirmed more cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

University of Florida Food and Agricultural Sciences

Health officials in the Florida Keys say they've confirmed four new cases of Dengue fever. That brings the total number of cases reported this year in Monroe County to 26.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County said there are indications the mosquito-borne infections were acquired locally. The four people have received medical treatment and are expected to make full recoveries.

A mosquito that transmits dangerous viruses like dengue and Zika seems to have developed a taste for human blood because of the way that people store water — which mosquitoes need for laying eggs — in hot, dry climates.

That's according to a new study in Current Biology that tested the biting preferences of Aedes aegypti populations from 27 locations across sub-Saharan Africa, the ancestral home of this mosquito species.

Opponents of a plan to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys landed a temporary win Tuesday.

The five-member commission of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District voted unanimously to postpone a decision on the experiment for a month in hopes the COVID-19 pandemic situation improves by then.

Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes Fly Free As Health Departments Focus On Coronavirus

Jul 16, 2020
mosquitoes in a petri dish

Bug spray, swollen welts, citronella. It’s mosquito season.

And in a normal year, the health department serving Ohio’s Delaware County would be setting out more than 90 mosquito traps a week — black tubs of stagnant water with nets designed to ensnare the little buggers.

But this year, because of COVID-19, the mosquitoes will fly free.

The disease is transmitted through the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Health officials say they've confirmed an 11th case of the mosquito-borne dengue fever in the Florida Keys.

So far all 11 cases have been in Key Largo, including eight cases the last week of June. 

Health officials have confirmed four more local cases of West Nile virus in Miami-Dade County, bringing the county total to 18 residents.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County confirmed four more residents have the West Nile virus infection from local transmission.

After a Respite, Mosquitoes Are Back

Jul 1, 2020

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.

Butterflies and moths captivated Lawrence Reeves – so much so that he chased their ethereal flutters all the way to the Philippines, his mother’s homeland, as an entomology master’s student at the University of Florida.

Mosquito season isn't officially here yet, but they are starting to appear already.

And this year, there's a new question: can mosquitoes spread coronavirus? 

If there's some good news, the answer is "no."

2019 is a record year for dengue fever in Latin America. The mosquito-borne disease has surged across the continent, from Mexico down to Chile and Argentina, with nearly 3 million cases reported.

Cameron Simmons is far more familiar with dengue than he would like to be.

"I've had dengue. My family's had dengue. It's a miserable, miserable experience," he says. "It's not one I'd ever want to repeat or have anyone else experience."

Public health officials confirmed the 18th case of dengue fever in Hillsborough County this year.

But this case is different- while the first 17 were travelers who got sick when they returned from a trip, this one contracted the fever from a mosquito locally.

University of Florida / Wikimedia Commons

A Florida official has proposed using bats to reduce mosquito populations.

A large, ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Brazil has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning people not to travel there unless they get vaccinated against the deadly mosquito-borne illness. 

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

Cold temperatures are breaking records in many parts of the country, bringing snow to Northern Florida, and sending a chill down the entire peninsula. And mosquitoes aren't too fond of the winter weather. 

Happy Expat

University of Florida researchers have more data showing invasive Burmese pythons decimating populations of native mammals in the Everglades.

Matti Parkkonen (Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say genetically modified mosquitoes are not "drugs" and should be regulated by environmental authorities.

Orange County plans to spray 85,000 acres for mosquitoes starting this week.

The Lee County Mosquito Control District predicts that a large mosquito outbreak is coming as a result of heavy rain and continued flooding from Hurricane Irma.  Thursday night marked the district’s first aerial spraying to tackle the adult mosquito population since the storm’s passage.

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.