Irma's flooding creates mosquito breeding grounds

By Brittany Jones, Flagler County Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 8:58 PM EDT

The East Flagler Mosquito Control District is asking for the state's help to provide spraying after Hurricane Irma dumped a dozen inches of rain on the county.

  • Mosquito counts on the rise in Flagler County
  • Mosquito Control is asking for state's help in combatting insects
  • Flooded areas are mosquito breeding grounds

Officials said the mosquito counts are on the rise in the county and it's the worst it's ever been.

"We're going to a trap called old A1A," said mosquito inspector Andy Martin.

"This is one of the worst areas. We have oil that we spray in the water and it prevents them from breeding," said Martin.

But the mosquitoes have been breeding in flood waters from Hurricane Irma, which has brought in a flood of mosquitoes.

"This little ditch right here, all this breeds," said Martin.

Martin said they check each mosquito trap every day. They use dry ice, which is CO2, and a light to catch them.

"Every single morning what we do is we seal it to make sure it's completely closed so it will work properly. They get attracted and the fan sucks them in there. It gets loaded with mosquitoes so this trap gets completely filled," said Martin.

Mosquito Control said this is just the beginning of the peak they expect to run for at least three weeks or so.

Homeowners are also feeling the bites.

"Because of the flooding they've been quite bad. They'll get it controlled pretty soon and we'll be normalized after that," said Eric Spingath, a homeowner on Atlantic Avenue.

The inspectors use a map on an app to tell them what spots to hit where there is standing water, which helps them determine where to spray.

"We go spot by spot and we update each and every spot in the app," said Martin.

"We're getting there and we're sending trucks out again and hopefully soon we'll be able to bring this population down where people can go outside again," said Mark Positano, director.

They'll keep working the extra long hours to keep these off, but you can help if you have standing water around your home.

"If they can, drain it," said Martin.

The mosquito district expects this increase at least for the next three weeks. They're hoping the state help to do some aerial spraying via plane across the entire county. Their crews are working extended shifts due to budget complications this year. If you'd like to know where they are spraying, visit flaglermosquito.com.