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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

County steps up mosquito spraying

Published:   |   Updated: July 28, 2013 at 08:39 AM

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BROOKSVILLE - That buzz people might be hearing in the neighborhood as dusk descends is not a swarm of mosquitoes.

Rather, it's something that may help prevent those pesky insects from multiplying.

Peter Taylor, director of the Hernando County Mosquito Control Department, said he has stepped up truck spraying because of daily rains. Although conditions are not as bad when Tropical Storm Debby rolled through last year, it has been enough to spur insect breeding.

"We're keeping an eye on it and spraying areas of concern, which is pretty much everywhere," Taylor said.

Taylor said he has particularly noticed an increase in Spring Hill, where the proliferation of abandoned homes has resulted in more standing water in abandoned pools, birdbaths and containers.

The county has six mosquito trucks but normally deploys five at any given time due to staffing. Taylor said he hopes to get another employee on board, which would allow the entire fleet to spray.

Taylor said he hopes to get a Facebook page up in the next two or three weeks that will allow users to track mosquito spraying sites. People will be able to highlight their subdivision and find out whether the truck has passed through or if it will show up.

Meanwhile, the county's environmental health director, Al Gray, said he is awaiting word from the state health department on whether a horse that died in Ridge Manor had the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.

EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes.

To avoid mosquitoes, the Center for Disease Control recommends people:

Stay inside after dusk and before dawn.

Wear protective clothing.

Remove all containers that hold water from around your house.

Spray with insect repellent containing DEET if you do need to be outside.

Cut tall grass.

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