Collier Mosquito Control District…don’t grow your own

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

Here’s a true story that occurred this summer in Naples, as told by one of our professional Field Technicians who answered a “request to visit” on behalf of a resident.

Resident: “I’m being eaten alive by mosquitoes when I get the paper each morning, but my neighbors aren’t getting a single bite!”

Field Technician: “Is it ok if I walk your property to check for mosquito habitat?”

Resident: “Sure, go right ahead, but I don’t have any bodies of water here!”

Field Technician (a short time later): “I think I found the problem, and you are correct, you don’t have a body of standing water.  Instead, you have a large pile of yard debris over in the corner of your yard which is providing a paradise for mosquitoes to hide  during the day. After they bite you in the morning, they’re hunkering down in that debris while the sun is out.”

Our Field Technicians encounter similar situations on nearly a daily basis during the summer months in Collier County, when
mosquitoes are most prolific. Residents relay reports of horrible mosquito infestations, and after a brief property inspection, our
Technicians typically identify a small, localized habitat where mosquitoes are breeding.

They then provide recommendations promoting a mosquito farm in their own yard. The most common suggestion is to remove or reduce the habitat by draining water from an item or removing piles of yard waste. The notion that one must live near a swamp or a body of water is misleading because mosquitoes can deposit their eggs in as little as a few tablespoons of standing water.

Then, thanks to the heat in our subtropical environment, those eggs hatch into buzzing blood-feeders in about seven days. Yes, even a discarded bottle cap full of rainwater can produce about 100 mosquitoes.

Property inspections are just one facet of the the Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program used by the Collier Mosquito  Control District. Our professionally trained employees utilize a science-based and multi-faceted approach which combines public education, source reduction, surveillance, and the biological, organic, or chemical control of larval or adult mosquitoes. All of these tools are required for an effective mosquito control program.

Need to schedule a Field Technician visit for your property? Please use the form on our website (www.cmcd.org) or call our office at (239) 436-1000.

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