© 2022 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Update: Mosquito Relief Coming for Flooded Counties

Flooded road in Wakulla Co.
Jessica Palombo
Standing water like this, in Wakulla Co., breeds huge swarms of mosquitoes following Tropical Storm Debby

Swarms of mosquitoes are the latest hardship facing North Florida residents as they clean up after Tropical Storm Debby. Now, a mosquito spraying task force has been activated to provide relief requested by several counties.

In parts of North Florida, huge numbers of mosquitos are drawn to standing flood water. Keith Blackmar, with the Wakulla Co. Sheriff’s Office, says they’re a major nuisance to people already contending with flooded homes and cars.

“Oh, they’ve just been phenomenal. They’re everywhere and they’re large and they’re frequent," he says. "And the storm has really given us some incredible load of them.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced today that 6 counties have been approved for spraying, and more are expected to qualify. FEMA is covering 75 percent of the cost, with state and local governments expected to pay for the rest. Officials say the mosquito spraying could begin as early as Monday. 

The approved counties, as of Thursday, are Suwannee, Columbia, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Bradford and Union, with Taylor and Madison expected to be added soon, and others expected to be added after that.