• Anastasia Mosquito Control District set to debut new helicopter soon

    By: Christy Turner , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    With warmer weather on the horizon, Anastasia Mosquito Control District is set to debut its new helicopter this mosquito season. 

    The mosquito control district said it’s more effective than ground spraying. The helicopter helps them cover hard-to-reach areas in less time.

    “It’s really hard for us to get back into some of the swampy areas around a lot of the subdivisions,” said Molly Clark, an education specialist with Mosquito Control.  

    She said the previously, AMCD would have to hire contractors to conduct aerial sprays, but now they can do it on their own. Clark said it will allow them to treat mosquitoes before they become a problem. 

    Pilot Paul Leone said he can spray roughly 6,000 acres in about 30 minutes, whereas it would take several trucks a couple of nights to cover the same area. 

    “It means less mosquitoes and it also means the ability to quickly respond,” Leone said. 

    The utility purchased the helicopter in 2018 from Lee County Mosquito Control District for $610,000.

    AMCD said it used money for the aircraft program obtained from the sale of property in NW St. Johns County and reimbursement from FEMA for money spent by AMCD for treating a mosquito outbreak following hurricane Matthew.

    AMCD said FAA will come out in early April to inspect, and hopefully approve, the equipment for the night ULV missions. 

    They plan to conduct aerial inspections at least once a week. 

    AMCD said aerial sprays depend on the complaints, where mosquitoes are found, and if the mosquitoes carry any disease.


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