Mosquito control officials warn of health risks as spraying begins early

Anastasia Mosquito Control District battles growing population after rains

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – With the recent rains and warmer temperatures, it was only a matter of time before mosquitoes made their comeback across Northeast Florida.

Mosquito control officials are now warning of some serious health risks as they battle the growing mosquito population. 

The standing water from recent rains is why the Anastasia Mosquito Control District is ramping up its efforts to kill the insects.

Which part of the county feels the sting the most?

"All of St. Johns County," said Molly Clark, with the Anastasia Mosquito Control District. "We have lots of swamps, lots of flat areas. So anywhere that holds water is going to have mosquitoes, and we’ve really been seeing the mosquito population across the county starting to increase with these rains and temperatures.”

To cut back on the pesky insects, Mosquito Control got an early start on spraying.

News4Jax on Tuesday followed along with crews as they sprayed what they call a natural, environmentally friendly solution meant to target just mosquitoes. 

But even with their efforts, Clark said, Florida is already seeing a spike in mosquito-borne diseases.

She said West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus are both on the rise.

“That is something that people need to be concerned about their livestock with," Clark said. "So people should definitely make sure they have their horses vaccinated both for EEE and for West Nile, which typically comes late summer through the fall.”

Officials ask the public to do its part early on. That includes the basics of mosquito control: dumping any standing water around the house and wearing repellent. 

Mosquito Control asks people who see standing water around their homes or businesses to give it a call at 904-471-3107. Mosquito Control crews will then come out and spray that particular area for mosquitoes.