Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division reminds residents to drain all standing water
Cooperation needed to limit mosquito breeding after the previous week’s heavy rainfall
While torrential downpours may have put a damper on the weekend plans of many a Miami-Dade County resident, female mosquitoes ready to lay eggs surely welcomed the wet weather. Certain species of the pesky pests, particularly the Zika and Yellow Fever-carrying Aedes aegypti, are container breeders who depend on water collected in items such as old tires, clogged rain gutters, bottles and cans, even bottle caps.
"The main piece of our 'Drain and Cover / Fight the Bite' campaign calls for residents to ensure that they drain all standing water on their property, particularly after periods of heavy rainfall," says Dr. William Petrie, the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division's new director. "At no time is this more critical than now, as we are nearing the height of the rainy season and need all the help we can get in combatting mosquito breeding, and the threat of mosquito-borne disease."
Additional commonplace items that can double as breeding grounds include garbage cans/carts, pool and boat covers, coolers, toys, and flower pots. Some species of the popular, decorative bromeliad plants can also collect water and attract female egg-bearing mosquitoes. Here are some more tips to help prevent mosquito nuisance issues:
- Discard old items that aren’t being used and are storing water.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls once or twice weekly or treat with larvicide granules (such as Bti).
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools, and empty plastic swimming pools not in use.
- Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.
- Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
It is also highly recommended that residents wear socks, shoes, long pants and long sleeves when mosquitoes are active (typically at dawn and dusk), and wear Environmental Protection Agency-approved mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR-3535. It’s also a good idea to cover doors, windows, porches and patios with screens and to repair any damaged screen coverings to prevent mosquitoes’ access inside homes.
For more information about the Mosquito Control program or to request a mosquito inspection, visit www.miamidade.gov/mosquito, call 311 or download the County's 311 Direct mobile application.