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Mosquitos in Florida: A Guide

Imagine having fun at an outdoor activity only to realize you’ve been scratching an itchy spot on your arm. Why? Mosquitoes.

While plenty of flying insects bite, mosquitoes are among the nastiest due to their sheer numbers, commonality throughout Florida, and the potential to deliver viruses and diseases. Unfortunately, Florida is a particular hot spot for mosquitoes. Here at Hulett Environmental Services, we’re pest control’s finest. Explore why mosquitoes are so annoying and potentially dangerous and what to do about it.

Why Florida Is a Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes

As every Floridian knows, the climate in Florida is warm and moist. This is because of its geography. With the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean so close, no location in Florida is more than 60 miles from a beach

And even when you move further inland from West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, much of Florida is dominated by wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps. This is a big deal as it pertains to mosquitoes because mosquitoes require bodies of water to reproduce. An adult mosquito lays eggs, which hatch when they come into contact with water. When they hatch, the larva and pupa remain in the water until they age into adults, which are the flying, nasty, annoying bugs everybody loves to hate.

Additionally, mosquitoes love warm temperatures, as a study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found out. Mosquitoes are most active between 59° F and 75° F, and with the average Florida temperature of 72° F in 2023, Florida’s climate is almost purpose-built as a literal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes landing on someone's arm.

Diseases Carried By Mosquitoes in Florida

Lions, tigers, and bears may be more physically imposing, but the most dangerous animal in the world is the mosquito. The CDC reports that hundreds of thousands of people die from malaria spread by mosquitoes every year, with nearly 250 million people becoming ill. Although malaria is no longer endemic in Florida, mosquitoes commonly carry a variety of other diseases here in the U.S. and Florida specifically.

West Nile Virus in Florida

The most common mosquito-borne disease in Florida is the West Nile virus. Although it’s much less common in Florida than malaria in African countries, it can still be dangerous, as there is no vaccine for the virus, and antibiotics are ineffective.

Most people who contract West Nile virus do not show any symptoms, but some who contract the disease can show some serious symptoms, including:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Stupor
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis

Treatment for the West Nile virus involves treating the symptoms. If you or someone you know thinks you might have contracted the West Nile virus, contact a medical professional. 

Zika Virus in Florida

The Zika virus is a virus spread by mosquitoes with symptoms that can last up to a week. Common Zika virus symptoms include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, and muscle pain. Although similar to the West Nile virus, many people who contract the Zika virus don’t end up with significant symptoms.

Fortunately, the Zika virus in Florida has been essentially eradicated. While in 2016, there was an explosion of Zika cases acquired locally, as opposed to acquired in the course of travel, there have been no locally acquired Zika cases in U.S. states or territories since 2020. 

Other Mosquito-Borne Illnesses in Florida

Occasionally, the Florida Department of Health will release mosquito-borne illness advisories. In addition to the West Nile virus and occasional instances of malaria, other mosquito-borne illnesses in Florida over the last few years have included:

  • Eastern equine encephalitis 
  • Dengue fever
  • St. Louis encephalitis

Prevention For Mosquito Season in FLorida

The Florida DOH recommends “draining and covering” to prevent mosquito infestations and bites. Since mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, any standing water can become a breeding ground for even more mosquitoes. Covering your skin can also help prevent bites.

At Hulett Environmental, our expert pest control technicians recommend these four specific tips to prevent mosquitoes.

  1. Eliminate standing water. Remember that any standing water, including relatively small puddles, can be a place where mosquito larvae and pupae grow into strong mosquitoes.
  2. Keep grass and vegetation trimmed. Like many insects, mosquitoes prefer being out of the direct sunlight and often congregate in and around vegetation.
  3. Use fans. While this won’t get at the root cause of mosquitoes, fans can help break up your scent and discourage mosquitoes from flying near you.
  4. Light citronella candles and install bug lights. Zap mosquitoes with ultraviolet bug lights or use natural citronella to encourage mosquitoes to keep their distance. 

Affordable Florida Mosquito Control

Unfortunately, even your best efforts might not be enough to fully eliminate mosquitoes, especially if you have a lake or other permanent standing water near your property. That’s where we step in. We have over 50 years of experience, and our professional mosquito control services are designed to keep your property as mosquito-free as possible. We’ll provide a free initial inspection to take a look at your property, too. Ready to get started? Just call Hulett and schedule an inspection today!