CRESTVIEW — With the recent rains in the area, people may be having mosquito problems. However, northwest Florida has options to keep those tiny bloodsuckers at bay.
Scott Bitterman of Okaloosa County Mosquito Control said while there has been an increase in mosquitos since October, it's par for the course.
The county is doing "no more spraying than usual," Bitterman said.
"We always respond to calls and we spray outside as we normally would. One thing we really anticipate — with the cooler temperatures, we think that's really going to slow down the mosquito activity."
Sara Bess, a technician at Mosquito Joe in Niceville, said there are some small things people can do to deter mosquito breeding on their property.
1. Once a storm clears, go outside and dump everything that can hold as much as a bottle cap full of water. "They will breed in four to five days in just a small amount of water," Bess said.
2. Check things such as flower pots, tires, portable basketball goals, and kids' toys. "Kids' toys are really overlooked for that — maybe the toy kitchen that's outside or the wagon — because water can get inside the actual structure of it. And if you shake it and you hear water, you should drill a hole and dump it out because the mosquito doesn't need a large space to squeeze in and start breeding," she said.
3. If there is a mosquito issue coming from high up, one source may be the house gutters.
4. "And If you've done all of (the above) and it's not making a difference, it might be a neighboring property," Bess said. Neighbors may work together to help fix the issue.
"And then of course, we can help as well. And for really large areas, the county will help," Bess said.
She said Okaloosa County Mosquito Control can provide gambusia, a species of fish referred to as a "mosquito fish," to help cut down on mosquitos over large affected areas.
You may also visit http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/pw/environmental/mosquito-control/home-check-up for more tips.
A previous version of this article spelled Sara Bess's name incorrectly.