Mosquitoes swarm in northeast Florida after Debby | News

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Mosquitoes swarm in northeast Florida after Debby
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --  Mosquitoes are swarming in parts of northeast Florida flooded by Tropical Storm Debby.
    
Biologists say St. Johns County has seen a 35 percent increase in mosquitoes over the last two weeks as a result of the standing water left by Debby's rains.
    
Dr. Whitney Qualls of Anastasia Mosquito Control said that inspectors planned to step up their spraying Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to try to control the swarms.
    
Mosquito control officials are urging residents to dump or drain any standing water on or near their properties, because mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Vulnerable spots include ditches, flower pots, trash cans, dog bowls, clogged rain gutters or any other open container left outside.

Dr. Qualls said they set out traps once a week. After Debby, they increased their number of traps by 35% and also saw an increase in service requests.

St. Johns County does not have their own aerial program to spray for mosquitoes. Instead, the county is contracting with two different businesses to spray St. Johns County. Over the weekend they will conduct "adulticiding" operations, spraying to eliminate adult mosquitoes, at hot spots around the county.

The hot spots will be determined by data from the traps, service requests and landing rate requests, Dr. Qualls said. Hot spot locations will be determined Friday.

Trucks will be fogging for mosquitoes Thursday and Friday during the day and at night.

Since the last six years have been drier, the mosquitoes haven't been as bad, Dr. Qualls said, but since there has been so much rain recently, there has been an increase.

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