Neighbors plead for mosquito relief in Loxahatchee area

Mosquito control plane grounded due to weather
Posted: 6:49 PM, Jun 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-06-22 23:14:18Z

There are so many things to celebrate in South Florida.

Mosquitoes are not one of them and a growing number of people are begging mosquito control for help.

Those who live in the northwestern part of Palm Beach County say they can't stand outside for even a minute without getting eaten alive.

Read more: Mosquito counts up despite recent spraying

The mosquito infestation has people running for cover in Loxhatchee. Neighbors say they need relief but mosquito control told me they can't help, at least right now.

"Can't even go outside for a minute without getting attacked," said Loxahatchee resident Suzy Mossucco, as she looked out over the ponds and stagnant water that surrounds her home.

Her husband, Frank, says they feel like prisoners in their own home.

"Just yesterday, I was cutting the lawn here nd they swarmed on me. It looked like I had hair on my legs, there were so many on me," he said.  "We try to get into the cars and house as quickly as possible."

With thick woods, standing water and winds bringing mosquitoes north from the Everglades, conditions in their Loxahatchee neighborhood provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, which Suzy thinks have a mind of their own.

"Seems like they've got their teams ready to attack you when you come out of the house, out of the garage," she said. "We can't live like this."

The couple stocks up on repellent. Even their dog, Stella, must be sprayed.

Suzy showed us standing water that surrounds her home, including a portion that sits in an empty lot next door.

"Very, very hard to do anything about it because it's not our lot," said Suzy.

Palm Beach County Mosquito Control says judging by the mosquito traps, that area is the worst part of the county for mosquitoes.

"It's basically marshland. You got lots and lots of floodwater mosquitoes breeding out of there and they all inundate the western comminutes," said Chris Reisinger, an environmental analyst for PBC Mosquito Control. "Recently, we've also had a lot of salt marsh mosquitoes blowing up from the Keys due tot the southwest wind."

The area is so densely wooded, a spray plane is needed for the highest effect. And the weather is to blame for why it can't take off right now.

"If the wind is blowing faster than 10 miles per hour, we are not able to spray as per the label rate," said Reisinger.

At the very least, neighbors hope for spray trucks to kill off adult mosquitoes. But that's not happening either.

"A lot of it is, it's too windy for the trucks, but on the other hand we've got 4 spray trucks and 270,000 acres. I mean, that wouldn't even put a dent in it," said Reisinger.

For now, the Mossucco family will continue running for cover.

"We're not getting results that we want," said Suzy. "It seems like we have to wait for the sun, the moon, the stars to line up together just to get someone out here. Nobody's coming out, nobody's doing anything."

"If the guys aren't flying the planes, get them out here spraying. There's no reason they can't be out here spraying and fogging to take care of the problem at least for some of us," said Frank. "If you could do something for some, that's better than the rest of us. We pay our tax dollars, so I think we deserve that."

The good news, mosquito control is working overtime on killing larvae and they say they've done that across Loxahatchee.

As for relief from the adult mosquitoes, people will have to wait for some species to die off soon.

Mosquito control wants to send out the spray plane on Thursday night, but are betting more on Friday or Saturday nights for better weather conditions. Pilots are on standby.