Palm Beach County enlists helicopter sprayer to rid air of mosquitoes

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. -- Days after Tropical Storm Isaac swept through Palm Beach County, many western communities continue to feel the impact of the storm.

Many roads and driveways in The Acreage and Loxahatchee remain flooded, causing the chances for a mosquito infestation to increase greatly.  

To help silence fears and the possibility of more mosquitoes, the county hired a private aerial mosquito company to help prevent an increase in mosquito population.

Armed with gallons and gallons of a spray known as "Kill It," Howe Enterprises prepared a helicopter Friday night that would spray 270,000 acres of Palm Beach County.

"If those mosquitoes are out flying about, they're dead. They're toast. They're not hard to kill," said Richard Howe, an aerial mosquito specialist.

Howe and his crew flew out in the darkness, the time they said when mosquitoes are most prevalent.

"There's a million of them out. As soon as it gets dark, you don't want to be outside that's for sure," said John Hobby, a Loxahatchee resident.

Not able to drive from his Loxahatchee home to get supplies, Hobby turn to alternative methods to get rid of mosquitoes. Hobby spent Friday night burning wood and pine needles hoping the smoke would detour the bugs.

"It's scary to know that our kids are out here. So I've been keeping them inside," said Tammy Baer, a Loxahatchee resident.

Baer said she will rest easier Friday knowing a crew flew overhead and tried to rid her neighborhood of the mosquito problem. But she admits some doubt.

"Not a lot of hope. But with all this water I don't think it's going to do much," said Baer.

Baer like other naysayers in flooded areas are hoping the chopper proves them wrong.

The helicopter crew spent about four hours in the air spraying Friday night. They said the material they used only impacts mosquitoes and will not harm humans.

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