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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

They suck: Florida mosquito season starts earlier than usual

Mosquito season is here earlier than usual, and the Alachua County Health Department is gearing up to prevent the rise of a mosquito infestation.

Last year, the department saw its first reported case of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus that environmental health director Anthony Dennis could remember. And this year it is hoping to prevent another case of the virus.

“Because we had a wet winter and now a wet spring, we’re expecting it to be a wet summer, and that’s going to breed more mosquitoes,” Dennis said.

The department stresses the importance of drying out items that collect water, including tarps, flower pots and tires, he said. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and it only takes a few days for larvae to grow into adult mosquitoes.

“Gainesville has a lot of standing water at the moment, which is always a concern because it causes adult-biting mosquitoes to be present,” Dennis said.

The department also suggests other tips such as using bug spray, wearing protective clothing and repairing window screens to prevent contact with mosquitoes.

Hilario Cabrera, a 22-year-old UF psychology senior, said he takes precautions whenever summer approaches. He wears more bug spray and takes out the trash often.

“I hate mosquitoes, so I try to avoid doing things that could make more,” he said.

[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/16/2014 under the headline "They suck: Florida mosquito season starts earlier than usual"]

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