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Clay County uses aggressive effort on mosquito problem after finding West Nile Virus

Last week the West Niles Virus was identified in mosquito sample found in Keystone Heights.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fl -- It is a day in the park for Cassie Rickman and her family; the rains have stopped and the sun is shining, but the mosquito problem is still there.

"They're really bad out here," said Rickman, "they eat up everybody and leave scars, marks, and there's not much you can do about them."

The mosquitoes are enough to ruin their day of fun.

"I'm allergic to them. I can't stand them," said Sabrina Daughtery.

Last week the West Niles Virus was identified in mosquito sample found in Keystone Heights.

There are no reported human cases involving WNV.

Since then, Clay County Mosquito Control Services has been operating at an elevated level.

"We do have four different types of traps," said Dr. Jessi Howard, "totaling about 60 throughout the month that are set at different times."

The mosquito traps are checked daily, and their contents are analyzed for mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

Howard runs the Clay County program.

"Our goal here is to identify any risk as soon as possible and to protect public health," she said.

Howard said they're being proactive. Mosquito Control is aggressively spraying the breeding habitats to control the population.

"We are remediating that risk," said Howard.

She said they're doing their part to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne diseases while keeping the population at an acceptable level.

"Our trucks are running after 8:30 p.m. As sunset moves up, so will that time," she said.

Howard said they are doing their part, now they need the community to do its part and get rid of standing water. She said it takes a team effort.

"One female mosquito can lay around 200 eggs at a time, and all she needs is a bottle cap of water," said Howard.

To minimize mosquito bites:

  • Remove standing water
  • Wear appropriate clothing, light colors
  • Avoid Dusk and Dawn activities
  • Use an insect repellent on your exposed skin
  • Make sure the doors and windows are tight

Clay County residents are being encouraged to call Public Works at 904-284-6335 and ask for Mosquito Control if there are any questions or concerns.