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Hillsborough County launching new mosquito management program in Town 'N Country, other communities

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Posted at 6:08 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-28 12:19:41-05

TOWN 'N COUNTRY  — In Town ’n Country, people say mosquitoes have been a problem.

“This was one of the hot spots. We had a number of complaints in the area,” said Mary Geesey, Project Coordinator for Hillsborough County Mosquito Management Services.

That’s one reason why Hillsborough County’s Mosquito Management Services is launching a new initiative to target a specific mosquito, the Aedes aegypti, that’s more than just a backyard pest.

“It’s potentially a dangerous mosquito so if we can keep tabs on it and make sure that we’re monitoring where they are, how many there are, we can do a better job of focusing our control efforts,” said Geesey.

“It is capable of carrying Zika, Dengue, Yellow fever, it’s that mosquito,’ she added.

Project leaders are starting the program in Town ’n Country, as well as 5 other communities across the county.

They’re placing jars throughout neighborhoods to try to find the insect. It likes to breed in containers and hidden spots.

“We put approximately 250 ml of water that has a little bit of liver powder and a yeast powder mixed into it so it makes it a pleasant environment for the mosquitoes. We place them in bricks or in the foliage around homes and the mosquitoes are attracted. They go inside, they lay their eggs on a strip of paper,” said Geesey.

After that, Mosquito Management will come out every week to replace the jars before the eggs have a chance to hatch.

“This is important because we need to have the data in order to know how and where to target these mosquitoes,” said Geesey.

Geesey says they need to know the distribution of mosquitoes around the county and how many there are in each area.

“Then after a few months of gathering this data. Then we know how to start to build and develop a treatment plan for that area and start to target those mosquitoes to get rid of them or at least minimize their impact,” said Geesey.