Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Working Together




It’s no secret that we have been hit by the largest concentration of salt marsh mosquitoes that we can remember in recent years, and as for me, I cannot ever remember them this bad in 43 years! The Collier County Mosquito Control District (the “District”) is monitoring this large population of salt marsh mosquitoes through its surveillance program, and is scheduling numerous treatment missions to target the aggressive pests that are emerging from the southern reaches of the county. If you’ve never seen how they test for mosquitoes, we learned on a tour of Mosquito Control that employees stand outside and see how many mosquitoes land in a certain measured period of time. I sure wouldn’t want that job! They also have equipment that captures the little buggers, which they take back to their shop to see what kinds of mosquitos are swarming. I got my first phone call from Bryan Hauser who told me they were eating him alive, and he never complains about them so they must have been bad. Mosquito Control was fabulous to work with! The next morning at 4 AM they were out spraying.

“The recent high tides have flooded numerous mangrove areas in the southern part of Collier County, and the salt marsh mosquito population has simply exploded,” said Dr. Mark Clifton, the District’s research entomologist. “Some long-time residents are reporting these mosquito swarms are the heaviest they’ve seen in over a decade, and we’ve received reports from boaters encountering them 12 miles off shore.” Thankfully this mosquito does not transmit the Zika virus.

“During the past few weeks, we have aggressively applied larvicides throughout the district to target mosquito larvae, but we don’t treat the uninhabited parks and lands to our south, which is where they are originating,” explains Clifton. “For every female that emerged from those regions, she likely laid hundreds of eggs, so we anticipate their population to be quite prolific.” Residents are encouraged to use the District’s website or mobile application to check the treatment schedule maps and time, as well as to report nuisance mosquitoes and sign up for notifications of treatments planned for their location.

The Collier Mosquito Control District was created in 1950 as an Independent Special District of the State of Florida and has its own countywide elected Board of Directors. Their programs use the safest and most economical means available to enhance quality of life while having minimal adverse effects on people, wildlife, and the environment. For more information call 239-436-1000 or visit www.cmcd.org.

• The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District and Fire Chief Kingman Schuldt sent an invitation to attend the dedication of the new Greater Naples Fire Rescue Boat 90. The event will take place at 11 AM on Friday, May 26th at Station 90, which is located at 175 Capri Blvd. on the Isles of Capri. Afterward a light lunch will be served to all. Between our fire departments and our Mosquito Control District, they have kept us safe for the last couple of months. When things died down for the firefighters, then Mosquito Control kicked in. Thankfully they are there for us!

• It was wonderful to see two government bodies working together for the betterment of the communities they represent. Marco Island City Council and the County Commissioners worked as one to solve the Goodland Road (92A) issue to the benefit of all. That subject has been festering for a couple years, and now it will move forward because of teamwork. It will now fall into the county’s lap to apply to all the different agencies for permitting, and the county must also hire an engineering firm, etc. The project will probably take a couple years before we can go to construction, but at least it will now move forward. In the meantime, we’ll have to see what we can do to make the road safe and passable for these Goodlanders until the bigger job is completed. Meanwhile, the county and city will apply for grants together to help pay for the construction and raising of that road. Plus, the city’s agreement for collection of impact fees has been reinstated, and the city will be releasing the money they have held until this issue was resolved.

• Speaking of Goodland, their water system is now about to improve. The county has been dealing with 50-year-old pipes carrying their water, etc., but they are so old they are leaking, the fittings are deteriorating, and the saltwater has eroded the pipes terribly. So my friends, if you see a lot of construction taking place behind Stan’s and in that area, it is the county working on their water system, not the road.

I hope everyone has a terrific summer and that we have nice, calm weather for the summer.

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