Mosquito control in Walton County is staying busy trying to keep the mosquito's in check all while the flooding caused them a bigger headache than they were expecting. The South Walton County Mosquito Control District (SWCMCD) can't even take calls in their office because the flood waters got into the building and in some places was more than a foot deep.
"Thoughts went through my head were oh my goodness, how are we going to kill all of these mosquitos and without a building how are we going to do it", said SWCMCD Director Ben Brewer. For 50 years, this building has housed the SWCMCD and never flooded. Now, as if they didn't aralreadyave their hands full with work orders caused by the recent flood. This time, the damage hit close to home. "Last Thursday and Friday we were taking calls but we weren't even leaving this property, we were just trying to get all of our equipment out, everything we own was in there", said Brewer.
But on Monday, the employees stayed busy trying to prevent even bigger problems. Brewer added, "now, we're going out, having to go street by street, there's no reason to break off, we'd spend too much time moving so right now we are going street by street trying to spray as much water as possible."
County officials are aware of the damage but say it's impressive how well the team is managing. "They want to get back up and running because they know the critical situation we have with the mosquitoes with all this water and within 7 to 10 days we can have a whole lot of mosquitoes and we don't want that to happen", said Chairman SWCMCD Tim Norris.
Though it's not quite mosquito season yet, an overwhelming amount of calls are coming in. Luckily, the equipment needed to spray for the insects was salvaged. "We're putting all our effort into killing the larvae before they fly, because if they don't fly, they can't bite", said Brewer. "It's just a constant battle with the water flowing in and creating habitats for mosquitoes so we've got a lot of work ahead of us", added Norris.
Computers, printers, and multiple refrigerators were ruined in the flood and most of the walls need to be replaced. But Brewer says they'll be working through the entire rebuilding process.