Despite drought, mosquito problem persists in Tampa Bay Area

Sprinklers and irrigations leave standing water
Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 14, 2017

Southwest and West Central Florida continue to have sever drought conditions, with no end in sight, according to the National Weather Service and the meteorologists at ABC Action News.

You might think there would be one positive to the lack of rain: no mosquitoes! But you would be wrong.

In fact, a some mosquito breeds do quite well in drought conditions, and the Tampa Bay Area is home to several types.

And just because it's not raining much doesn't mean there's no water out there for mosquitos to breed in. Sprinkler systems, irrigation systems often leave still water out, and the area's natural humidity sometimes creates just enough condensation to leave enough water for mosquitos.

"Just 5 to 7 days after leaving water out and you could have a mosquito problem," explains Rob Krueger, an Entomology and Education Support Specialist with the Pinellas County Mosquito Control Unit.

Kruger and other experts also point out that because the Winter season was so mild and warm, many mosquito populations may have survived the season.

Reports of mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika, have slowed during the Winter months, as expected, but state officials have been warning that they expect the spread of the disease to pick up again once mosquito populations rebound with the rain.