Mosquitoes swarm after rare December deluge

December is usually a quiet month for Palm Beach County Mosquito Control as temperatures fall and rains dry up.

But this year is an exception. A rare December deluge and high temperatures running well above normal this month has meant an outbreak of mosquitoes thick enough to require aerial spraying.

Chris Reisinger, an environmental analyst with the county’s mosquito control division, said the department has conducted December aerial sprays only 3 to 4 times in the past 26 years.

2013 file photo by Lannis Waters

2013 file photo by Lannis Waters

“This is very unusual,” Reisinger said. “It’s almost like spring or fall weather.”

Aerial spraying was scheduled for Wednesday night in areas of Loxahatchee, Jupiter Farms, suburban Boca Raton, and the Glades.

“We’ve gotten a ton of calls,” Reisinger said. “We’ve been inundated.”

According to the South Florida Water Management District, coastal Palm Beach County has received 4.72 inches of rain this month, 3.3 inches more than what’s normal for this time of year.

A more central section of the county that would include suburban Boca Raton has seen 5.11 inches of rain, which is 4 inches more than normal.

Chris Reisenger, Environmental Analyst with the Mosquito Control Division of Palm Beach County Dept. of Environmental Resources Management checks a gutter at a home in Delray Beach in respnse to a complaint Wednesday, July 15, 2015. He determined the gutter was holding standing water and a likely spot for mosquitoes to breed. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Chris Reisenger, Environmental Analyst with the Mosquito Control Division of Palm Beach County Dept. of Environmental Resources Management checks a gutter at a home in Delray Beach on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Still, it was a slow start to the rainy season and the county never quite made up for a dearth in rain. For the year, the total rainfall is still down 14 inches.

Reisinger said it’s generally been a quiet year, until now.

“We only sprayed a couple times this year,” he said. “Today, we logged 70 complaints that came in yesterday and overnight.”

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