Mosquito trappers looking for clues to stop Zika spread

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jun 29, 2016

Hillsborough County mosquito inspector Ron Kolsen is sifting through thousands of tiny insects pulled from traps placed all over the county.

"Kinda like playing detective, you've got to find all the clues," Ron Kolsen said.
"There are somewhere between 25 and 30 different types of mosquitos, but we only have a handful we really have to worry about," Kolsen said. Out of that handful only Yellow Fever and Asian Tiger mosquitoes carry the Zika virus.

"Each one of the mosquitos can tell me where they can be found," Kolsen said.

Yellow Fever and Asian Tiger are sent to a lab in Kissimmee for testing. So far trappers haven't found any that carry Zika, but the threat is always there.
"The trap could be a troubled area, and if it was a troubled area that would determine us to send out trucks at night," Kolsen said.

Inspectors said what they find in the 65 mosquito traps scattered around the county helps them focus on areas that need spraying. The greater the threat the higher the priority.
The county hopes to tap into 26 million in state funds to help fend off the possible invasion of the disease and launch a public education campaign to help keep the area outbreak free.

"With the rain that we have here in Florida, and we only have about 15 or 16 people here, it's a tough job." said Kolsen.