Collier Mosquito Control testing new helicopter to safely kill off mosquito larvae

Taking the next step in stopping the swatting and itchiness that comes with bloodsucking mosquitos.

The Collier Mosquito Control District is preparing Tuesday before we start to see them again.

The new helicopter they are using has two tanks on each side distributing tiny granules called BTI, which is very similar to cat litter.

The material they use is not harmful to any living thing—except mosquito larvae.

BTI granules (WINK News)

Here’s how the process works:

Workers use orange buckets to measure the product and make sure it meets the label required by the department of agriculture.

Executive Director Patrick Lynn says it’ll have big effects.

“We use this larvicide to treat the water and biologically speaking when the mosquitoes are at the right stage of development they eat the larvicide and it kills them before they come off,” he said.

The helicopter will release the BTI into Collier’s waterways. Mosquito larvae, which are juvenile mosquitos that live in the water, eat the granules.

Within hours after ingestion, mosquitos die off.

The new chopper will allow Mosquito Control to spray larger areas in the county.

Just to give you a little perspective, mosquitoes lay hundreds of eggs so small that they can all fit inside a bottle cap. Once the eggs hatch, they become larvae. By distributing the product, the effects last up to 30 to 40 days.

The Mosquito Control District says it’s working so well, they’re increasing amounts, in hopes that you can swat a little less.

“Year after year were increasing hundreds of percent and this new helicopter gives us the ability to do that rather than just tiny little surgical treatments, we can get out there and do some strategic work” Lynn said.

The mosquito control district plans to begin this process soon. To track sprays on their website using the spray map, click here.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Briana Harvath
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