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Seminole County seeing unusually high mosquito count

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Recent heavy rains and warm temperatures over this past weekend have brought out an unusually high number of mosquitos.

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Seminole County officials told us that last year at this time in December, they had about 15 work orders from residents to come and spray for mosquitoes, but this week, they have over 300 work orders to spray.

Mosquito Control program manager Theressa Jones took us to her “Mosquito Lab” where she counts mosquitos and identifies the different species.

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In one trap collected from last night in a Winter Springs neighborhood, Jones counted between 3,600 4,800 mosquitos.

“Huge rain event a few weeks back, some cool weather and then we had, last weekend, we warmed up to about 88 degrees. It was a little muggy and they all just started hatching,” says Jones.

It’s that warm weather that sped up the process this week for those mosquitos to hatch.

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“We’re out spraying every night. We’re fogging at night. We’re out doing those work orders checking areas to see if we can find mosquito habitats, you know, to larvicide but yeah, we’re out every night fogging,” says Jones. “This will slow them down, the cooler weather, but it’s not going to kill them off. It would need to be cold, like 32 degrees for a period of time a couple of days at least like frozen.”

Not only does the weather have an effect on the number of mosquitos, but it also controls when they can spray to control them. If it’s 50 degrees and under, you can’t spray.

“Because then your chemicals are not going to fall like it should and do what it needs to do,” Jones explained. “So we do have weather restrictions, winds over 10 miles an hour. We can’t fog. If there’s no wind, you can’t fog; you need at least one mile an hour.”

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Jones added that the best thing to do is to make sure you go around your house and drain and cover anything that collects water.

Get rid of wheelbarrows, bird feeders, anything holding water. And if you are out at night, put on bug spray to keep those mosquitos away.

To request service to have Seminole County come out and spray your neighborhood, click here.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.