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Researchers in Collier say not all pesticides will control mosquitoes

To many, mosquitoes are around every corner in Southwest Florida. Along with living with them, protecting ourselves from the disease-carrying bugs is a way of life. Now, researchers say not all pesticides will help control the pesky bugs.

Scientists with the Collier Mosquito Control District research and test mosquitoes in a lab, and they recently discovered the pests can survive being sprayed with a particular pesticide.

“We were testing different mosquitoes, and we saw that two particular types of mosquitoes were resistant to pyrethroids,” said Dr. Keira Lucas, director of research at the mosquito control district.

And these are well-known mosquitoes to us in Florida.

“One was Aedes aegypti, and that is your Zika virus mosquito,” Lucas said. “And the second is Culex quinquefasciatus, and that is your, typically your West Nile virus mosquito.”

But not all hope is lost for controlling the species.

“If we identify a species that is resistant to pyrethroids, we may choose to use a larvicide or an organophosphate-based adulticide,” Lucas said.

And just because we aren’t hearing about Zika or West Nile virus in our area now, it doesn’t mean we should let our guard down.

“We do have the mosquitoes that can spread those diseases,” Lucas said. “So we need to be proactive in controlling those mosquitoes.”

This involves dumping standing water around homes and staying indoors at dawn and dusk.

People living in Collier County can also get mosquito fish from the district to manage pests at your home. Anyone can call and make an appointment to pick them up.

“Between screens and lotions and candles, there’s different misters and things you can put out these days,” said Chris St. Gelais in Naples. “For us, it’s just preventative maintenance as much as possible, especially with the kids.”

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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