LEE COUNTY, Fla. - This summer, southwest Florida might face a huge problem, a monster mosquito invasion! According to a University of Florida entomologist, mosquitoes the size of quarters could increase in our area.
You might bug out over this bloodsucking biter.
The Psorophora ciliata nicknamed the Gallinipper, is an aggressive mosquito, persistent in the daytime, and 20 times larger than your average insect.
University of Florida Associate Professor Dr. Phillip Kaufman says standing freshwater from Tropical Storm Debby unleashed a large amount of the monster mosquitoes last year.
If conditions are right, he says their eggs, will hatch again this summer. "There's a fresh batch of eggs out there. If we again get storms, we'll see populations at least similar, perhaps higher that what we saw last year."
If you live in the city or the suburbs you probably wont find this mosquito in your backyard. That's because Kaufman says it thrives in agricultural areas. We've learned the mosquitoes in their young state are even cannibalistic! And their bite packs a painful punch.
Shelly Redovan with Lee County's Mosquito Control District says these big bugs are nothing new to the area "We have always seen them as far as our records go back," she said. "This mosquito is not one of our primary pests it actually is one of the minor characters in our list."
She says they have not seen an increase in their numbers in southwest Florida, but if they become a problem, the district is ready. "We would treat it pretty much like any other mosquito," Redovan said.
The Mosquito Control District is gearing up for this summer. They've already been out spraying for mosquitoes!