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The effects of Hurricane Florence continue to be felt, even in areas that didn’t see any damage.

Lee County is one of a number of counties being swarmed by “super mosquitoes,” larger-than-normal mosquitoes that thrive in swamps and other flooded areas in warmer temperatures and whose bite is so strong that … well … we’ll just borrow this from WIRED:

… the gallinipper’s chompers are designed for bigger prey — it’s one of the only species that can pierce cattle hide. Its bite is so deep it sets off nerve cells in the epidermis designed to alert the body to a serious wound. In other words, your body thinks it’s being stabbed.

Editor’s note: We have our yard treated monthly for mosquitoes and I still was swarmed by two or three the other night while taking out the trash. I wasn’t bitten, but it felt like a big spider on me rather than a mosquito.

Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered $4 million in relief funds to combat mosquitoes in 27 counties in North Carolina. Lee County is one of them. Harnett County is another.

On Oct. 1, the Lee County Government Health Department announced it is working on mosquito mitigation efforts across the county to combat the growing mosquito problem. Officials are asking for residents’ help in identifying neighborhoods and areas where the mosquito population may be overwhelming and also providing a means to help citizens combat the problem by issuing free Mosquito Dunk kits to county residents.

Mosquito Dunks are donut-shaped discs that are added to a standing water source where the disc will then slowly release a special bacterium that kills mosquito larvae of all known mosquito species. The bacterium is toxic to mosquito larvae but is non-toxic to humans, birds, frogs, fish and other animals. Residents may pick-up a Mosquito Dunk kit from the Health Department Division of Environmental Health located on the ground floor of the Buggy Building at 115 Chatham Street in Sanford. The kits include one Mosquito Dunk and educational materials on proper use and other methods to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, areas affected by a hurricane may see an increase in the mosquito population anywhere from two weeks to two months after the storm has passed through. Tropical storms and hurricanes increase the instances of free standing water that act as breeding grounds for mosquitos.

The public is asked to report an area or neighborhood where the mosquito population has become overwhelming or otherwise problematic to the LCG Health Department at (919) 718-4640.

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