For the first time in six years planes spraying for mosquitoes are up over Orange County.
Orange County Mosquito Control announced they will launch aerial spraying planes this week to combat the massive mosquito populations in the eastern portion of the county.
According to the county a recent trapping yielded 4000 mosquito samples in a single trap compared to just 300 in the same trap the previous week. County officials said they haven’t utilized the aerial method since 2011, but warmer winter temperatures along with recent heavy rains have forced them to go beyond ground spraying efforts.
Gabby Brizendine with Mosquito Joe Orlando said her team is taking on 3-5 new customers a day and has had to hire several new field crew members to keep up with the need for residential mosquito spraying services.
“I mean we can't even keep up,” said Brizendine.
She also suspects the drought last spring played a role in the mosquito boom. Brizendine said mosquito eggs laid dormant during that period and then all hatched when the heavy summer rains started to hit; effectively doubling the current populations.
The county said aerial spraying will occur at about 9 p.m. one day this week when weather allows. They said there is no need to take extra precautions to safeguard livestock, pets, or gardens.
Brizendine said the best way for everyone to help fight the mosquito situation is by dumping standing water after every rainfall. She, and the county report that the bulk of mosquitoes they’re encountering aren’t the species that carry illnesses like the Zika Virus, but Brizendine said when those do show up they are in standing water around yards and near homes.