Keeping an eye on mosquitoes with heavy rains - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Keeping an eye on mosquitoes with heavy rains

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LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX)-- Staff with Palm Beach County Mosquito Control are keeping a close eye on more than a dozen mosquito traps located throughout the county.

They check the traps twice a week. So far into this rainy season, they say they haven't seen a large influx of mosquitos in Palm Beach County.

"We're at the mercy of the weather. Mosquitos are really tied into what the weather's doing, water levels. You can't have the mosquitos without the rainfall," says Gary Goode, environmental analyst for PBC Mosquito Control.

Mosquito experts say there hasn't been enough standing water on the ground to cause the bugs to hatch. Many mosquitos lay their eggs in the ground. The eggs can survive underground for several decades. The bugs hatch when there's standing water over the eggs for several days at a time.

When that happens, mosquito control tries to kill off the larvae before they can fly away. Goode says, "The most we can try to do is hit the worst areas we can hit at. There are road side swales that are just flood control devices on the side of the road. Those are the areas that we try to hit. Those are closest to people's homes. Those are the first ones that are going to hatch off and fly into people's front doors."

Mosquito control employees work hand-in-hand with county health officials to determine if mosquitos are carrying any diseases in our area. Goode says that the health department has chickens it tests regularly to determine if they have contracted any diseases from the bugs.

To protect yourself from the bugs, experts say use products with DEET inside. If you're using these products on kids, make sure they bathe after using the product so they don't accidentally consume the product.

The county offers some other tips to residents to protect yourselves from the bugs. Here's a helpful link:
http://www.pbcgov.com/erm/mosquito/tips.htm

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