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They’re back… Mosquito Control has begun treatments around the area

By Staff | Jun 20, 2019

As the Southwest Florida area heads into the rainy, summer months, residents may notice things getting a bit “buggy.”

The Lee County Mosquito Control District has begun mosquito treatments throughout the region, as officials say a rise in population starts in the early summer months.

“Season typically starts in May or early June with the first high tides but our sub-tropical weather allows for mosquitoes year round,” said Eric Jackson, spokesperson for LCMCD.

This past week, areas in Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva were sprayed and treated.

Southeast Cape Coral was treated from Veterans Memorial Parkway north to Viscaya Parkway, and from Del Prado Boulevard east to Southeast 24th Avenue and the Caloosahatchee. Also, from Veterans Parkway south to Southeast 36th Street and from Del Prado Boulevard east to the Caloosahatchee.

The LCMCD serves areas based on service requests.

“Any time a citizen feels like they are having mosquito problem they can call the District and request service or submit a service request online. There is no cost for service requests,” said Jackson.

The LCMCD sprays what is called Naled. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, “Naled, sold under the name Dibrom when applied in accordance with the label, can be used to kill mosquitoes without posing unreasonable risks to human health or the environment.”

The district also uses sentinel chickens as a tool to monitor for potential viruses mosquitos may carry.

“The sentinel chicken program serves as a valuable surveillance tool to monitor for mosquito-borne viruses,” said Jackson. “The District maintains sentinel chicken flocks across the county as well as an additional supply of birds kept at the District. The sentinel chicken serve as a sampling tool to monitor for the active transmission of diseases within the wild bird population. This form of proactive disease monitoring is conducted by testing samples of chicken blood on a bi-weekly bases. The District tests all samples in house as well as sends an additional sample to the state laboratory for confirmation and official record keeping. If a sample is confirmed as positive the nearby area will be scheduled for treatment to suppress further disease transmission.”

Why is it effective?

“Chickens are very effective at testing positive for West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus if they have been infected,” said Jackson. “It’s a great indicator and helps us protect public health.”

LCMCD also uses unmanned aerial systems as “emerging technology (that) can effectively and efficiently augment mosquito control operations. From surveying aquatic habitats where mosquito larvae grow to performing prescribed treatments to breed sites, drones are a helpful tool in the District’s mission to protect public health.”

LCMCD has been serving Lee County for over 60 years. Acres of salt marsh and wetlands create prolific breeding habitats for mosquitoes — which are monitored by the district. Employees are trained and certified in Public Health Pest Control.

Residents can call LCMCD at 239-694-2174 or can submit a service request online at lcmcd.org.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj