TAMPA, Fla. — As we head into summer months with more rain and lingering puddles, you'll have a lot more unwanted guests not practicing social distancing. Mosquitoes will invade your personal space more and more.
Hillsborough County Mosquito Control monitors the mosquito population all year round, but especially during their busy summer months. They collect samples from across the county and look for any diseases the mosquitoes might carry.
"West Nile Virus is always a concern in Florida. Dengue Fever too. We had a case last year of a locally acquired case and that's a big concern for us," said R.J. Montgomery, the Director of Hillsborough County Mosquito Control.
According to the latest round of collection and testing, the county has not detected any of the viruses of concern in the mosquito population, which is good news as Florida still grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of cases of COVID-19 across Tampa Bay continues to climb. Montgomery says while pesky, mosquitoes are not contributing to the spread of the coronavirus right now.
"There's no animal in the world that has been studied more than the mosquito. We know a tremendous deal about it. It's the vector of many, many pathogens but from what we know today, we know it [COVID-19] is not a pathogen mosquitoes can transmit from human to human."
Hillsborough County Mosquito Control is trying to stop the mosquito population from growing and spreading other diseases by dropping pellets from helicopters that kill mosquito larvae, spraying in affected areas and distributing mosquito-eating fish.
While there are currently no mosquito-transmitted diseases in the county right now, Montgomery says you should still do your best to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves or pants if it's not too hot, spray yourself with insect repellent before going outside and pour out any dishes or planters with standing water outside your home.
To report mosquito-related issues, you can contact Hillsborough County here.
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