~March 21 is FMCA’s Day of Advocacy~
Tallahassee, Florida – By bringing together highly-trained professionals from the fields of science, engineering and medicine for 100 years, the Florida Mosquito Control Association (FMCA) has created a collaborative force to control the world’s deadliest animal – the mosquito.
Senator Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) today hosted members of the FMCA at a press conference at the State Capitol, recognizing their integral role in keeping Floridians safe, tourism thriving, and the economy strong. Joining Senator Boyd were Senator Erin Grall (R-Ft. Pierce), Rep. Tom Fabricio (R-Miami Lakes), and Mary Ann Hooks, Director of Government Affairs, UF- Institute of Food & Agricultural Resources.
“Ensuring the health and well-being of the Florida public is one of FMCA’s top missions, and we can’t thank them enough for everything they do behind the scenes, by air, by boat and on foot to control the population of these disease-carrying insects, “said Senator Boyd. “They are highly trained, licensed public servants and we know that the state’s two largest business sectors, tourism and agriculture, could not grow without the professional control of mosquitoes.”
Each year during the Legislative Session, FMCA members travel to Tallahassee to advocate on behalf of their work. Members include 15 independent mosquito control districts (MCDs) with constitutionally elected boards that work with the state’s 42 county and municipal mosquito control programs to control the mosquito population in Florida.
For more than 100 years, scientists and entomologists in Florida have worked together to educate the public about the multitude of dangerous diseases that can be transmitted via a mosquito bite – including Zika, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, as well as Dengue fever.
“Due to Florida’s sub-tropical, and tropical climates, ranging from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys, mosquito control programs work 24/7, 365 days a year,” said FMCA President Sandra Fisher-Grainger. “Mosquito control has become a finely-honed science that includes the use of airplanes, helicopters, drones, natural predators, and impoundments to control outbreaks across the state.”
Florida is ground zero for mosquitoes and the diseases they vector in the continental United States. Florida is also home to more than 80 different species of mosquitoes ranging from the tropical climate of the Keys and South Florida to sub-tropical and more moderate climates in the Panhandle.
“On behalf of the members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, we thank FMCA’s members for their role in boosting Florida’s economy by allowing millions of tourists to enjoy outdoor activities, including dining, sports, and concerts by keeping the mosquitos at bay,” said Samantha Padgett, Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
For more than a century, Floridians and our tourists have greatly benefitted from the hundreds of dedicated mosquito control scientists and technicians who work to make life more comfortable and safer from an insect that has plagued mankind for thousands of years and continues to be a growing threat today. Especially in the Florida Keys where the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Districts has been recognized nationally.
“Before 1920, Florida’s development was slow largely because of mosquitoes. It is well known that these biting and disease carrying pests have slowed progress in most of the tropical and subtropical climates of the world, even still today—but no longer in Florida,” said Commissioner Phil Goodman, Keys Mosquito Control District. “Mosquito control has continually progressed in Florida and is now a very complex and sophisticated science, encompassing elements of every physical and life science while at the same time, protecting our fragile environment.”
“Our district employees around the state are tireless in their work,” said Richard Weaver, FMCA President-elect. “But success is never final. In 2016 the state worked closely with the MCDs and county and municipal mosquito control programs to combat the Aedes aegypti in response to a Zika virus outbreak. This prompt action limited damage to health and businesses. But the Aedes aegypti remains a severe public health threat, responsible for the continued spread of Dengue virus in South Florida.”
According to a 2022 Florida Department of Health Arbovirus Surveillance report there were several documented cases of Dengue transmissions in Miami-Dade (64), Broward (2) and Collier (1). Additionally, there was also a case in Volusia bringing the total cases to 68. The Florida Department of Health also publishes weekly reports that can be found here.
For tips on what you can do to keep your home and loved ones safe please visit the Florida Department of Health site by clicking here.
To learn more about the FMCA’s 100-year anniversary (1922-2022) please click here for an article by Gordon Patterson.