St. Lucie County using new technology to fight mosquitoes

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The calendar says there are only a few more days left in summer, but a summertime pest shows no signs of disappearing.

In St. Lucie County, they built some new technology to get a handle on the area mosquito population.

When it comes to mosquitoes, 2020 has not been a bad year.

“It’s very hot, very dry. Fortunately for us, it hasn’t been a killer year,” according to Roger Jacobsen, the assistant director for mosquito control in St. Lucie County.

But to be more efficient mosquito killers, the county has a new mosquito counter that counts the pests in real-time.

A set of fans pump out carbon dioxide to lure in the pests.

St. Lucie County Mosquito Control trap


St. Lucie County Mosquito Control workers are using new traps to keep track of the number and varieties of insects.

“The mosquito flies inside here [and] goes past the counter. The fan pushes it down into the bag,” Jacobsen said.

Real-time results are then sent to the division’s headquarters in Fort Pierce.

“Trapping is very important for mosquito control because that’s how we get justification to apply treatments if necessary,” Jacobsen said.

Beyond the two new portable electronic traps, the county has two dozen other traps. All of those bugs collected are brought back to be identified.

Most importantly, experts work to determine any other health hazards in the community since various mosquitoes transmit certain kinds of diseases.

Dengue fever, Zika, and West Nile virus have all have made appearances in South Florida in recent years.

There are more than 80 types of mosquitoes in Florida — 37 types in St. Lucie County alone.

So, residents are reminded to cover up at dawn and dusk, and get rid of standing water so the public can leave the bug counting to the professionals.

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