Gainesville residents concerned about mosquito problem

FOX35's David Williams reports.

- Neighbors told Fox 35 the mosquito problem is inside little collection ponds on the side of the road. If you look closely, you’ll see what looks like mosquito larvae.

Mosquitoes are bugging Gary Schreiber, near his home of 20 years. “Frustration is probably the main thing,” Schreiber said.

Frustration over several small areas collecting, and holding storm water along SW 8th Avenue in Gainesville. Mosquitos love the standing water. “There could be thousands to millions, I guess, if they continue to hold water on a permanent basis,”Schreiber explained. 

He is concerned about mosquito-borne viruses, including the Zika virus. There are 4 travel-related cases in Alachua County, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Monday update.

“They could carry all kinds of viruses,” Schreiber said of the mosquitos.

A County Public Works spokesperson told Fox 35 these are part of a now-finished $1.1Million-dollar sidewalk project. They put in the ditch-blocks to hold back storm water from homes downhill. 

Ruth Findley is Design and Contracts Manager for the Alachua County Public Works Department and said that in the past few weeks they found out it’s holding water a little longer than originally intended. 

It turns out a layer of clay in the ground isn’t allowing them to drain. The county got a couple complaints, including an email obtained by Fox 35 of Schreiber asking the county to fix the issue.

“It looks dangerous to me,” he said. “It’s very steep and a car could go off the road.”

The county promises to fix the mosquito problem. “For the larvicide, it should be done today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday),"Findley explained. "At the latest, by Wednesday. The fix for the ditch blocks, to get it to drain, probably going to be done in the next month or so.”

It was results Schreiber wanted to hear. “I’m happy,” He said. “But, it’s still a ‘wait-and-see’ thing.”

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