ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- St. Johns County is the only county in the state right now under a mosquito alert. With the recent rain, you can only imagine how the problem with mosquitoes could get worse.
"I think I speak for all the people in this area when I say mosquitoes are quite a problem,” said University of Miami student Deborah Roque.
Roque is spending her summer vacation studying how to battle the bug at Anastasia Mosquito Control District in St. Augustine. After conducting what's called a landing count, she showed us the results of her research.
"In one minute I had about six just land then I had a whole swarm,” said Roque.
The risk of mosquito-borne diseases is spreading across St. Johns County. According to the health department, several sentinel chickens tested positive for West Nile Virus. Your best bet to avoid their annoying bites is to drain and cover any standing water in the yard.
"That's one of the main sources for mosquito breeding, especially the nuisance of Asian-Tiger mosquitoes. That's the one that citizens will find biting them all through the day,” said biologist Whitney Qualls.
Qualls also suggests spraying your skin and clothes with repellent before going outside. State and local health officials are on high alert this season and stepping up their surveillance for mosquito borne illnesses.
"We're always on top of making sure that we’re suppressing the mosquito population that is considered vectors,” said Qualls.
The health department says only about one percent of people bit by a mosquito with West Nile will experience its flu-like symptoms.