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Mosquito Surveillance & Monitoring

Mosquito surveillance measures the numbers of mosquitoes in an area. We are primarily interested in those species that cause problems, either health-related or as a nuisance.

Three factors are monitored:

  • Resident requests for mosquito control services
  • The adult mosquito population
  • Immature mosquito population.

Miami-Dade County makes use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to analyze the data collected in the field and provided by the public.

Service requests

Residents call to request mosquito control services. Report the problem online, and select "Report mosquitoes causing a biting nuisance" from the drop-down menu.

Spray trucks or aircraft are used when an area of the County shows concentrations of mosquitoes. An inspector may be sent to verify the service request when other methods indicate no mosquito problem in the area.

When the cause of the service request is a container-breeding species, the inspector usually corrects the problem by emptying any containers found breeding or applying larvicides. Large or numerous containers uncorrectable by the inspector may require code enforcement action.

Monitoring adult mosquitoes

The two methods used most often to monitor adult mosquitoes are landing rates and mechanical traps. These methods are used primarily during the summer months.

Landing rates

Landing rates are used to monitor adult mosquito activity. Mosquitoes landing on an inspector are counted for one to three minutes. It is most useful for monitoring salt marsh mosquitoes, and for day-biting container breeding mosquitoes.

Mechanical traps

The New Jersey light trap and the Center for Disease Control light traps are the types used in Miami-Dade County. These traps usually operate overnight, collecting mosquitoes that are sorted to species, and their numbers are recorded. This information is useful as it provides a historical record of species collected in various areas of the County, and provides valuable information on the effectiveness of spray operations.

Monitoring immature mosquito populations

Known mosquito breeding sites are inspected twice weekly during the summer months. Each known mosquito-breeding site is dipped at regular intervals with a white pint dipper. The number of mosquito larvae found, and their stage of development provides information for timing the occurrence of adult mosquitoes. Naturally occurring mosquito breeding areas are treated with insecticide to kill the mosquito larvae.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:22:04 PM

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