Polk monitoring explosion of mosquito population across county

Traps went from zero mosquitoes to thousands
Posted at 11:27 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 05:48:20-04

Get out your bug spray! Polk County Mosquito control urging people to get back into the habit of wearing bug spray, and urging people to dump standing water, and take precautions to protect against mosquito bites. 

Swarms aren’t on the way, they’ve arrived.

“In one area alone we caught over 10,000 mosquitoes,” Dr. Carl Boohene the Director of Polk County Mosquito Control said.  Since January, Boohene said his office has been slow, within a few weeks that all changed. 

“We've been very lucky, in a way, because we have not had to use our chemicals since the beginning of the year and we've saved a lot of money because it's been so dry,” Boohene said. It is rare because we are way below the average we normally get. On a five year average from January to May it usually averages 200 plus mosquitoes.  We’ve been at less than a hundred or zero.”

The rains are now bringing swarms of mosquito eggs hatching across Polk County. The message Boohene wants to send is to remember the dangers of contracting West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, and Zika.

“We have to keep on telling our citizens the message that they have to protect themselves and take care of their backyard, empty water containers. We have to constantly keep the message going so we don't relax so there are no cases here.”

So far, there have been no cases of Zika in Florida and Boohene wants to keep it that way.

“My favorite mosquito is a dead one,” Boohene said. 

Boohene said the record for mosquitoes captured in Polk County is 23 grams worth which roughly calculates into more than 20,000 mosquitoes in one trap. That was found in the Lake Wales area.