There is a good reason why calling the Florida Keys home is a dream come true for thousands of residents — breathtaking views, abundant water, unspoiled mangroves and wetlands that stretch on for miles.
Many of those reasons are why mosquitoes attempt to make their home along the same 120-mile-long island chain. They are not new residents as they have been here for eons. Throughout various times in history, certain species have even infected thousands of their human neighbors with terrible diseases such as Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever.
Enter the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD).
Monroe County recognized early on that organized mosquito control had to be a priority in order for people to share and enjoy this strip of paradise so far off the beaten path. Funded by property taxes, FKMCD has evolved into a recognized, national leader in organized mosquito control, utilizing a system of integrated pest management to keep the local, potentially dangerous, mosquito population in check. Today, FKMCD utilizes nearly 40 specially trained "inspectors" to maintain the front lines of the ongoing battle, while four helicopters, two airplanes and several "fog trucks" are frequently called in for support.
One of these trained inspectors is available to come to your property to research and help solve any particular mosquito control problem you may have. Residents can place a service request by going to the website: keysmosquito.org or by calling 305-292-7190. When not responding to service requests, the FKMCD inspectors are responsible for certain assigned neighborhoods where they go "door to door" in an ongoing effort to prevent or eliminate mosquito breeding habitats. If an official FKMCD inspector knocks on your door, they will always be in uniform. Please allow them access to the property; it is in the best interest of the entire community.
The experts at FKMCD say that more than 60 varieties of mosquito can be found in the Florida Keys, but it is two that demand the most attention and resources.
The first is the Aedes aegypti, an urban mosquito that if found almost exclusively in man-made containers and thrives where humans choose to live, never straying far from where they are hatched from eggs. Even though this species comprises a SMALL percentage of the total mosquito population in the Florida Keys, it spreads nearly ALL of the mosquito-borne disease. If you have containers in your yard that hold even a small amount of fresh water, you may be be harboring this potentially dangerous mosquito.
The second is Aedes taeniorhynchus, or black salt marsh mosquito, which comprises the vast majority of the local mosquito population. A very aggressive biter, Aedes taeniorhynchus is found in and around wetlands where standing water is prevalent. This species is known to migrate in large numbers from the Everglades into the Upper Keys, however, they are not known as carriers of most mosquito-borne diseases.
Regardless of the mosquito involved, the experts at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District are here to help you with any current or potential mosquito issue. Mosquito larvae are found in water, so to fight the bite, dump all standing water on your property weekly. Even if you just have questions, feel free to contact FKMCD via the website, keysmosquito.org, or by calling 305-292-7190.