Phone calls are flooding county offices with concerns about mosquitoes. Residents say the swarm of insects have become unbearable. The high waters of the flooded Suwannee River are causing a high population of mosquitoes.
John Stout says, "I can't stand them. They get all over me, bite me, I'm itching all of the time."
The Stout residence says they do use insect repellant spray, but they say mosquitoes are so bad in the area that it doesn't do any good. They're requesting that a county-wide aerial spray be done. County commissioners say that's just not feasible.
Johnny Wooley, Suwannee County Coordinator, says, "Unfortunately, most of the rural counties don't have the funding to do aerial application. That is quite expensive."
The county has chosen, instead, to distribute larvicide and repellant to the public.
Johnny adds, "You can't put it in a creek or a river or a lake, but where you have pooling water or standing water because of heavy rains and flooding like we've had, it is effective in trying to keep the mosquito population down."
Jennifer Markham says, "We don't have standing water; we have a river that is flooded behind us. I think that that's not going to work."
Markham also suggests using mosquito spray trucks, as they do in the Live Oak city limits, but Wooley says because of the large area of county government, that is not an option either.
Aerial spraying was done in Suwannee County last year. Commissioner Wooley says that was only because of a federal disaster declaration due to the Florida hurricanes.