Pinellas Mosquito Control is ready for combat - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas Mosquito Control is ready for combat

Posted: Updated:
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Over the past couple of weeks, mosquitoes have become a problem in Pinellas County.

Tropical storm Andrea left a lot of water in the area and county officials have had to do a lot of spraying.

But there's a lot of science and work involved in killing mosquitoes.

"Just because you don't see a fogging truck coming down your street doesn't mean we're not working," said Glen-Paul Edson, a Senior Environmental Specialist at Pinellas County Mosquito Control.

These experts say there are 36 species of mosquito in Pinellas County.  Only a few actually bite humans. In some cases, the bites will cause flu-like symptoms, or a worst-case scenario- West Nile encephalitis, which causes a swelling of the brain.

Gayle Guidash with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County said, "Unfortunately it is possible to die from an encephalitis disease."

Guidash said, "A lot of people have different immune responses, so it's been shown that people may have actually contracted West Nile virus and they wouldn't have even known it, where others will actually have disease symptoms."

So on the front lines of this fight the county uses sentinel chickens.

"Every week, what I do is I draw samples of their blood," said Entomology technician Jason Stuck.

By studying the blood samples, mosquito control is able to discover if diseases are spreading.

Then to kill off these pests, the experts fight them by spraying on the ground or by helicopter, responding quickly to problem areas countywide.

Edson said, "We're trying to get everything at the larval level before mosquitoes can be a nuisance and before it can cause disease."

And one common problem lately has been foreclosed homes with swimming pools.  It's a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so the county will unleash small gambusia fish to eat the larvae.

Mosquito control is always taking calls to see the problem areas in the county.

As of now, there have been no reports of mosquito-borne illnesses spreading across Pinellas County.

Mosquito season tends to run from June until November.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tax free back to school shopping is here

    Tax free back to school shopping is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:23:38 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:32:42 GMT
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
  • Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:16:16 GMT
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
  • New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:43:41 GMT
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:37:45 GMT
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:19 GMT
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.