TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) - "Mega mosquitos" could suck the fun out of spring and summertime around parts of Florida.
Scientists say there is a good chance the floodwater mosquito called Psorophora ciliata, commonly referred to as the gallinipper, could cause more problems than normal this year. A warm winter coupled with all of Tropical Storm Debby's waters last year could potentially create a mix for the perfect swarm.
"I wouldn't be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year," said University of Florida entomologist Phil Kaufman, an associate professor with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "When we hit the rainy cycle we may see that again."
Mosquito eggs can remain dry and dormant for years, until high waters cause them to hatch.
"We think there's a lot of eggs laying around right now ready to come out," said Dennis Cone, of Hometeam Pest Defense. "If you're in pasture areas or near pasture areas or woods, you're more apt to see them than say in an urban area."
Cone, who is in his 50s, has only seen two gallinippers in his career.