Mosquito control used airplanes to spray more than twenty six thousand acres of east Orange County on July twenty sixth. Carrie Proudfit, a county spokeswoman, said the mosquito population spike, along with the surge in calls regarding such, warranted an aerial assault. She said officials have no immediate plans to do aerial spraying again, but will monitor the situation.
And while Lake County isn’t planning an aerial attack, reserving the method for emergencies such as hurricanes, said Craig Scott, program manager for mosquito and plant management in the county.
Seminole County also has seen an influx in phone calls from people about mosquitoes, but hasn’t opted for aerial spraying, said GLoria Eby, director for mosquito control. She said they’re using a machine called a buffalo turbine, that can spray mosquito larvicide as much as a hundred and fifty feet into the air.
Mosquito control, along with the Florida Department of Health, uses “sentinel chickens” and other methods to monitor infectious disease that mosquitoes can spread, including West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue, and strains of Encephalitis. A Florida Department of Health report from July 2017 said none of those diseases were found in Florida residents.
In Orange, Deutsch said the aerial insecticide is safe, with only .66 ounces of it being dispersed for each acre. It was approved by the EPA and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as not harmful to humans or animals. As a follow up, workers laid mosquito traps baited with dry ice to emit carbon dioxide and imitate human breath to lure the insects.
Before the spraying, Deutsch said a trap set near the Orlando international Airport that netted, four thousand, one hundred mosquitoes up from three hundred mosquitoes that the same trap yielded a week prior. After the aerial spraying, the trap only held five hundred mosquitoes, Proudfit said. There are about thirty four traps across the county they check every week.