Tampa, Florida -- Last week's rain showers were great, right? The lawn got the water it desperately needed, the car got a quick wash...
That may be the benefit, but now we're starting to feel the downside of the downpour.
Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control tells 10 News it's seeing a big increase in the number of adult mosquitoes in the traps located throughout the county.
"Some of the traps went from less than 100 mosquitoes in a 24-hour sampling to over 5,000 mosquitoes in that same location in 24 hours," said Donnie Hayes, with Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control.
He says the areas seeing the most significant mosquito population boom are South Tampa, MacDill, Port of Tampa, Odessa, Thonotosassa, Plant City, Palm River, and Apollo Beach.
Mosquito Control is fighting back by helicopter, boat and by truck.
They are using pesticide pellets in the water. The tiny corn pellets are coated in a bacteria that's deadly to the mosquito larvae that feast on them.
When they become biting adults, the fogging trucks are heading out to eliminate the blood suckers.
While inspectors are constantly out patrolling and counting, yes, counting the thousands of mosquitoes in each trap, they also rely on the public to report the trouble spots.
"All it takes is one phone call, a resident of Hillsborough County can give us a call," explained Hayes, "Basically what we'll do is open a work order and at that point, one of my inspectors will conduct an inspection and depending on the results of the inspection, we'll determine whether there's justification to make a pesticide application."
You can also report mosquito activity online. Hillsborough County residents can report by phone by calling (813) 635-5400.
Hayes says there are primarily two types of mosquitoes feasting on our blood right now: "salt marsh mosquitoes" which breed in the salt marshes and the "container mosquito" which breeds in standing water like ditches and buckets full of water.
He recommends you check your property and dump the standing water. Grab a bottle of water and remove the cap, fill it with water...then, consider this: "Over a week period, you can produce 50-100 mosquitoes out of that little cap of water," said Hayes.
He also recommends you avoid dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Loose fitting, long sleeve clothing may also help, along with a repellent with DEET.
Pinellas County Mosquito Control says it's also seeing an increase in the mosquito population and is making similar efforts as Hillsborough to battle the bug.
The good news is, if you can call it that, is that the sentinel chickens are not showing any signs of disease from the mosquitoes.
Other area Mosquito Controls:
Pinellas County Mosquito Control: 727-464-7503
Pasco County Mosquito Control: 727-376-4568
Polk County Mosquito Control: 863-534-7377
Hillsborough County Mosquito Control: 813-635-5400
Manatee County Mosquito Control: 941-722-3720
Hernando County Mosquito Control: 352-540-6552
Sarasota County Mosquito Control: 941-861-5000
Citrus County Mosquito Control: 352-527-7478