How Do Mosquitoes Impact life in Collier County

Patrick Linn, MS, MSHAPI
Executive Director, Collier Mosquito Control District

Most Americans today have lost their fear of mosquitoes. The bothersome insect is seen mostly as a pest that ruins a morning walk with the dog or a peaceful sunset on the beach. Rarely do people today respond to mosquito bites with concern for their health.

Yet, the tiny mosquito kills more than 700,000 humans worldwide annually, making it the deadliest animal on the planet. Diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, malaria, and West Nile virus claim thousands of lives each year.

Collier County residents and visitors today no longer fear malaria as the early Southwest Florida settlers did, thanks in large part to ad valorem-supported mosquito control efforts. We now live in a habitable paradise, even though we share the area with more than 40 species of mosquitoes year-round.

The various species’ behavior and the weather conditions determine where the insects are most prevalent in the county throughout the year. For example, the nuisance Salt Marsh Mosquito
is a Spring species that can travel up to 40 miles on the wind from its breeding grounds in coastal mangroves. That insect’s unique behavior of flying in thick, dense clouds has the ability to suffocate livestock by clogging animals’ airways. The last time they killed cattle here was during  the late 1980s.

In the Fall, the inner reaches of the county can experience an increase in Mansonia and Culex mosquitoes. While Mansonia is a nuisance, the Culex has the ability to transmit St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile virus. Year-round, the Aedes aegypti mosquito lives close around our homes, and it’s known to spread many tropical diseases that are dangerous to humans including yellow fever and Zika.

Since 1950, area residents have looked to the Collier Mosquito Control District (CMCD) to help minimize the negative impacts these insects have on public health and comfort in our area. CMCD’s mission is to use methods and tools–based on sound science– to reduce mosquito populations of both nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes. Based at the Naples Municipal Airport, we employ scientists, pilots, and other professionals who support the organization’s mission of suppressing mosquitoes for public health and comfort through the safest and most economical means available.

From distributing free mosquito fish that eat larvae in standing water to aerial missions dispersing materials that target flying adult mosquitoes, control efforts are all part of an integrated pest
management program. By monitoring and controlling mosquito populations in Collier County,  CMCD has minimized the presence of disease, but mosquitoes will always be endemic to Southwest Florida.

That’s why we encourage our residents to contact us with any questions, invite us for educational presentations, or schedule a visit to our facilities for a tour to learn more about our operations and
mosquito control methods.

 

 

Contact our main office at (239) 436-1000, visit our website at
www.cmcd.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@CollierMosquito), or download our mobile application in the App Store and Google Play (search for Collier Mosquito).

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