To say that this year has been rough on the insect front would be the understatement of the century. Residents of the tampa area have felt it just as bad as anyone else in the state.
Starting with an unseasonably hot spring, the amount of parasitic and pest insects that made their way into homes and out of the swamps was overwhelming, with some residents front porches looking like the scene of a horror movie, with swarms of mosquitoes hovering a silent, buzzing vigil near any source of light; waiting for any prospective prey to take a step out of their homes.
And the long and blistering summer was punctuated with the largest storm ever to form in the Atlantic ocean, hurricane Irma.
And as the storm came and went, the massive storm left behind a massive public safety threat, and that threat was an even more bloated population of blood suckers. Officials in the tampa area found their already impossible task of controlling the booming population increased several fold in difficulty.
Pinellas county, an already humid region not too far from the everglades and the gulf of mexico, was now brimming with hurricane debris. Tree limbs, construction material, and all sorts of damaged containers that are perfect breeding grounds for mosquito larvae were in abundance.
Officials throughout the region had to hold off on any kind of insecticide spraying in the days immediately following the storm. Irma knocked out power to more than 90% of homes in some counties, leading residents to keep their windows open day and night. Government officials didn’t want pesticides floating into people’s homes, so they halted spraying for several days, which gave the parasite plenty of foothold.
And while the falling temperature has given brief respite for residents of the East Lake area, it’s not going to last for long enough or become cold enough to provide true respite from any real pest, such as the many ticks that have also benefited from the scorching weather. The tick can survive and remain active in even thirty eight degree weather, leaving this cold front wanting when it comes to controlling the population of these determined parasites.
In fact, it took one trap only sixteen hours to catch over twenty thousand mosquitoes at a time of year where the average was previously in the hundreds, and Hernando isn’t a far cry north of pinellas and the tampa area.
And while you should certainly go out and enjoy the weather as best you can, be sure to remember to take basic steps to avoid allowing mosquitoes more grounds to breed. Remove any standing water, and any containers that could hold some should be brought inside and scrubbed clean before re-use.
And, if worse comes to worse, you may need to hire the expertice of a safe, sanity exterminator service.