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Mosquito Control

Pasco County Mosquito Control
Pasco County Mosquito Control

The mission of the Pasco Mosquito Control District is to protect the health and well-being of the citizens of Pasco County through the prevention and control of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. Our goal is to control both pestiferous and disease carrying mosquito populations to a tolerable level in the safest, most economical manner, while using a variety of methods in such a way as to minimize potential effects on people, wildlife and the environment.

As the Director, I am proud to tell you that our dedicated team of well trained public health professionals will strive to deliver a continuous level of mosquito control services that will help the citizens of Pasco County enjoy quality outdoor enjoyment.

If your outdoor activities are being disrupted by mosquitoes, please call our office to report your problem at (727) 376-4568 in our local calling area and outside call toll free at 1-888-202-1571. Our main office is open from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, to take your call and an answering machine will record your message at any other time. Once your call is received, we will have an inspector assess your mosquito problem and determine the best method to eliminate your problem.

Homeowners can take the following steps to prevent mosquito breeding on their own property:

  1. Destroy or dispose of cans, old tires, buckets, plastic sheeting or other containers that collect and hold water.
  2. Do not allow water to accumulate at the base of flower pots or in pet dishes for more than 2 days.
  3. Clean clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs.
  4. Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.
  5. Stock ornamental pools with fish.
  6. Change water in birdbaths, fountains, and troughs twice a week.
  7. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; when not regularly used, they should be emptied.
  8. Turn over unused wading pools and other containers that tend to collect rainwater.

Other important tips:

Repellants:

Mosquito activity is generally the highest around dusk and dawn. If you know you will be in areas of high mosquito activity use DEET based repellants, due to their good performance and safety record.

Insect repellants with DEET (N, N-diethylmetatoluamide) are very effective at keeping these pests away. While DEET doesn’t actually repel mosquitoes it does “mask” us so mosquitoes can’t find us. Higher concentrations don’t work better, they just last longer. Children should use concentrations of 10 % or less. Adults can tolerate concentrations up to 30 percent. DEET should be sparingly applied — no need to be generous as you would with sunblock. Put a little on your hands, rub them together and then rub your hands over your exposed skin or that of your child. DEET should be reapplied every few hours particularly if sweating. Although DEET is oily, consider rubbing it sparingly over lighter clothing to reduce the likelihood of bites through the clothes. Vitamins and Avon Skin-so-soft™ do not work reliably as mosquito repellants.

Bug Zappers: They kill many insects, but do a very poor job of controlling mosquitoes.

History or the Pasco County Mosquito Control District

The Pasco County Mosquito Control District (PCMCD) was created by the Pasco County Board of Commissioners as the result of a referendum vote in the summer of 1951. We have expanded five times since its establishment in 1951. On each occasion in 1978, 1981, 1986, 2002, and 2003, the expansion process was initiated by petition at the grass roots level by the residents within a voting precinct that was adjacent to the District. Petitions were first presented to the 3-member Mosquito Control Board for approval and then to the Pasco County Board of Commissioners for authorization via public meetings. Once an area becomes part of the PCMCD, a property owner is charged an annual mosquito control services fee which is noted as a separate item on tax bills issued by the County Tax Appraisers Office. The annual charge varies, but it usually has been about $0.25 per $1000 of a property’s assessed value.

Originally, District personnel included three Commissioners plus one individual who drove a truck which was used to spray for adult mosquitoes. Within a few years, we were also applying pesticides to mosquito larvae and the Florida State Board of Health was providing us with engineering and entomological support so that we could ditch many of our coastal salt marshes and several nearby freshwater sites. Improvements were made to drain standing water, thus preventing mosquito production. Ditching and subsequent ditch cleaning was one of our major efforts up through about 1990.

In the past 10 years, we have continued to develop our larviciding and adulticiding capabilities, and focused on a more environmentally “tasteful” method termed source reduction. We have also focused on tire removal and aquatic weed control since they are both associated with producing mosquitoes. We currently are one of the recognized leaders in our field, and often are called upon for advice. We boast a compliment of cross-trained employees with an average longevity of about 15 years with the District. Field personnel often work seven days a week during the summer months, conducting inspections, collecting and identifying mosquitoes from the 42 permanent traps we maintain throughout the District, and controlling both larvae and adult mosquitoes when found in sufficient numbers.

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