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Why do mosquitoes bite?
Only female mosquitoes bite or take a "blood meal." The blood is necessary for the development of her eggs.

Typically, both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar. The plant sugars provide energy for the mosquito. After the male mates with the female mosquito, eggs will begin to grow in her abdomen. For most species, it is crucial she take a "blood meal" from an animal. The protein from the blood causes the eggs to develop properly.

The Lake County Mosquito Management Section manages mosquitoes and other biting arthropods of public health importance in order to reduce the risk of arboviral disease transmission and to ensure a reasonable quality of life for all residents and visitors of Lake County.



Adult Mosquito Surveillance
The Mosquito Management Section deploys a series of 36 New Jersey Light Traps at various locations throughout the County to determine the fluctuation in adult-mosquito populations.

New Jersey Light Trap
New Jersey Light Trap
These trap sites are randomly selected to avoid any bias in the collection data. Based upon surveillance analysis and the number of service requests received, adult-mosquito spray operations can be justified in order to meet current state and federal regulations governing the application of pesticides.

Trap samples are collected twice a week and the samples are counted and identified to species. Known mosquito-breeding sites are surveyed periodically to document trends in mosquito production.

Mosquito Spray Truck
Mosquito Spray Truck
Mosquito Adulticiding
Adult-mosquito populations are managed by the use of spray trucks operating Monday through Friday from dusk to midnight. The County is divided into 12 spray regions and spray truck operators are assigned to one or more of these regions each night based upon surveillance analysis and service requests.

Operations usually commence in April and end in December. Malathion and permethrin are the pesticides primarily used for ground adulticiding activities.

Mosquito breeding site
Mosquito Inspection and Larviciding
Mosquito larvae and pupae are searched for and managed to help in reducing the emerging adult-mosquito populations at the source. Three full-time field operations personnel and two entomologists search for possible mosquito breeding sites in assigned areas of the County and, if larvae are found, apply chemical and/or biological control methods.

Pesticides used for ground larviciding include Bacillus thurngiensis israelensis (Bti), monomolecular surface oils and temephos. Biological control agents include the mosquito fish Gambusia spp. Public-service requests are investigated by mosquito-management staff to determine the scope of the mosquito problem and the appropriate management measures to be taken. Public awareness and education on eliminating mosquito-breeding sources are a primary goal of this section.

Arthropod Breeding Site Management
Some aquatic plants found in certain water bodies and drainage ditches may provide suitable breeding habitats for some disease vectoring arthropods. When the need arises, the Aquatic Plant Management Section will treat these aquatic plants to help manage arthropod breeding and, when deemed necessary, restore the flow of drainage ditches to original capacity. This work is performed by the use of herbicides or, when practical, by reclamation.


Additional Information
Mosquito Management Brochure
Mosquito Management Procedures
Aquatic Midges (Blind Mosquitoes)
Purple Martins and Mosquitoes
Bats and Mosquitoes
Additional Resources and Links

Beekeeper Registration
Beekeeper and Zika
Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides
The Backyard Beekeeper
Mosquito Control and Beekeepers

PERMANONE® 31-66 Safety Data Sheet

What is Saint Louis Encephalitis?
Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) is a mosquito-transmitted viral disease. It was first recognized in St. Louis in 1933. Epidemics occur sporadically throughout the United States. During an epidemic, several hundred people may become ill, sometimes fatally. Symptoms of SLE are similar to other viral infections and may include high fever, nausea, severe headaches and tiredness.

The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. They range from no symptoms at all to mild flu-like symptoms to severe flu-like symptoms — and even death. Only one in 200 people who become infected with SLE virus will develop the disease. The likelihood of developing SLE symptoms is generally higher for older people.

Only a few species of mosquito in a particular area are generally capable of transmitting SLE. Mosquitoes pick up the virus in the blood of wild birds carrying the disease. The birds are usually not sick themselves. The virus incubates in the mosquito's body and eventually migrates to the mosquito's salivary glands. This process takes about two weeks. If a particular type of mosquito bites a SLE-infected animal and two weeks later bites a person, SLE transmission may occur and that person may or may not go on to develop encephalitis.

In Florida, the species of mosquito that is most often responsible for SLE transmission is Culex nigripalpus, which breeds in many sites.

West Nile Virus
The West Nile Virus is a mosquito-transmitted virus that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). It can even cause permanent neurological damage or be fatal. Several mosquito species transmit West Nile Virus, but they must first get the virus from an infected source. Many species of birds, especially crows and blue jays, have been found to harbor West Nile Virus. There is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus and there is no vaccine to fight it. Therefore, prevention is the best cure. It all comes down to not being bitten by mosquitoes. Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active.

However, if residents must venture outside: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside, spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing and apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin.

The American Pediatric Society recommends no greater than 10 percent DEET be applied to children. When using an insecticide or repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use as printed on the product. For more information about West Nile Virus or any other mosquito transmitted diseases, call the Lake County Mosquito Control office at (352) 343-9419.

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