Rain brings mosquitoes, aerial sprays to Orange County


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – For the first time in six years, Orange County will deploy helicopters spraying mosquito repellent to combat the flying pests.

County officials said all the rain is to blame for a big uptick in mosquitoes. Orlando received more than 14 inches since June 1, about 2 inches more than the same time last year. Overall, Orlando is still about 7 inches of rain below average because of the drought earlier in 2017.

Helicopters will spray in the areas where officials said the bugs are most prominent including east Orange County near Lake Nona.

Orange County officials said their traps recently caught more than 4,000 mosquitoes, and the week before, only 300 were caught.

Mosquitoes can cause big problems for people, pets and livestock. The annoying bugs carry Zika, West Nile Virus, dog heartworm and other disease.

While there are currently no active cases of the Zika virus, which can cause harmful birth defects, in Florida thr Florida Department of Health is still urging residents to take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites, which is the best way to prevent contracting the Zika virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

For residents concerned that the aerial spray could be harmful, county officials said it is safe and people can be outdoors when it is deployed.

Learn what you need to know about the Zika virus and how to fend off mosquitoes below.

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