Warm Winter, Rain Bring Mosquito Conditions | News

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Warm Winter, Rain Bring Mosquito Conditions
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JACKSONVILLE, FLa. -- In their home off Heckscher Drive, Don Pellegrini and his wife take in serene views of the St. Johns from behind a shield of mesh.

"They have been tremendously bad this year," Pellegrini said of the mosquitoes. "I don't know exactly where they're coming from."

Richard Smith with Jacksonville's mosquito control believes a flooding at a dredging spoil site across Heckscher Drive is to blame for the current problem.

Despite the unseasonably warm winter giving mosquitoes favorable breeding conditions, Smith said the city will wait to start widespread spraying until their normal time: mid-April.

That decision comes despite 20 cases of West Nile Virus in Duval County last year; one of the highest number of cases in the country.

"You have to worry about something like that," Pellegrini said.

In the meantime, the city is spraying problem areas like the Pellegrini's neighborhood.

"I don't know what to do to get rid of them," Pellegrini said. "The last year I went out and bought a fogger."

Now, coming out of the warm winter and indications of the mosquito problems to come they're turning to extremes, shelling out $200 this spring for an infrared mosquito zapper.

"We were experimenting with this to see if it would work," Pellegrini said of the device.

They've also added a screened-in porch to enjoy the outdoors without the unwelcome guests.

The Duval County Health Department told First Coast News they take their cues from Mosquito Control, and say right now no threat of West Nile has been indicated.

"There's no reason to believe anything out of the ordinary is taking place," DCHD Director Charles Griggs said.

He added if any cases of West Nile are reported, DCHD will issue a health alert.

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