'Mosquitoes never quit, so we can’t either': Crews battling mosquitoes in Florida from the skies

Crews in Flagler County are working to keep mosquitoes at bay.

"The mosquitoes never quit, so we can’t either," Mark Positano, director of the East Flagler mosquito district, said. 

That is especially true in Flagler County.

"Flagler County and a few other counties south of St. Johns County were historically known as Mosquito County. It was called that because the people – when they set up the state – believed that there was no way that people could live here because the mosquitoes were too abundant," Positano said.

But, that is possible, in part thanks to Positano and his team. They work around the clock on the ground and in the air. Back-to-back hurricanes last year brought a lot of mosquitoes. Six months later, that’s still a problem, and with a lot of rain in the forecast, the team is preparing.

"This week, we should see an increase in that population," Positano said. "Even though we’ve controlled those mosquitoes before the winter time, now those eggs that those mosquitoes laid are coming due with water that’s coming later."

"[We] catch them when they're larvae and down in the puddles in the swampy areas and so on and so forth," Antonio "TC" Cunha, pilot, said. 

Cunha first flies a surveillance flight. Then, once the problem areas are identified, he goes back up for the real work. Crews load about eight to 10 bags full of larvicide on each flight. It covers about 50 acres of land to treat the mosquitoes.

"We have electronical systems and machines that tell me exactly georeferencing with GPS coordinates where to go and spray," Cunha said.

East Flagler Mosquito Control District is responsible for Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, and up to Marineland. They treat a lot of marsh areas where mosquitoes commonly bread. They also use traps on the ground. They catch mosquitoes, study them and identify the species to best treat it.

Positano said the goal is to keep the pests away and keep you safe."The longer they are around, the more possibility there is of them spreading diseases," Positano.