Pesky salt marsh mosquitoes invade Volusia; here's how to fight back

Constant summer rains bring pests to coastal areas

DeLAND, Fla. – Constant rains this summer in Central Florida have created an ideal habitat for mosquitoes, which are especially bad in Volusia County.

County officials said this week that coastal residents are dealing with an influx of pesky salt marsh mosquitoes. The affected areas include Oak Hill, Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach.

"Volusia County Mosquito Control is responding as quickly as possible by air and ground to resolve the situation," officials said in a news release. "Staff is out in full force treating larval production sites in the marsh by helicopter and boat. Trucks are spraying after sunset to treat adult populations."

“Our team continues to treat the standing water on the ground during the day and adult mosquitoes at night,” said Sue Bartlett, director of Volusia County Mosquito Control. “You can help by doing your part to protect yourself and your family.”

Bartlett offered these suggestions:

  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Cover windows and doors with screens

For more suggestions, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Don’t forget to check your yard for containers, including pots, buckets, tires, toys, pools and pet dishes, that may be holding small amounts of water," officials said. "Pockets of standing water are prime habitat for those pesky and sometimes disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Bartlett showed News 6 the lab where they evaluate the salt marsh mosquitoes and explained how to tell them apart. They look like every other mosquito without a microscope. Staff also shared how they're trying to get rid of them, especially the females that are the ones doing the biting and reproducing.

Luckily, this type of mosquito doesn't carry viruses that harm people but can convey heartworms to pets.

"The only thing we can do is to adulticide or what we know as fogging by ground and by air," Bartlett said.

Crews have sprayed every day for the past two weeks.

"Today, we got about 13 or 14 thank you's from Edgewater, New Smyrna area because that will just knock down the population," said Bartlett.

The Volusia County Mosquito Control will continue to spray for mosquitoes and target the larvae before they become a nuisance.

"If the wind continues to blow, those mosquitoes will still continue to be produced down in the south and we won't be able to treat them until they get here," Bartlett said.

More information can also found at volusia.org/mosquito, where residents can also submit requests for service and view scheduled areas for treatment.

Residents of incorporated Deltona, DeBary, DeLand, Orange City, Lake Helen and Pierson should call their respective city to submit a request.


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