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Winter mosquito control tips issued for Miami-Dade County residents

Colder weather doesn’t necessarily mean fewer pests -- here’s what to do to keep the breeding and biting to a minimum

MIAMI ( December 26, 2018 )

Winter is here, which generally means less of the heat Miami is world famous for. With many folks celebrating the holidays outdoors, it’s important to protect against mosquitoes and the threat of the serious diseases they may carry. Below are a number of tried and true ways to "Fight the Bite."

"Wearing a mosquito repellent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the best ways to prevent mosquito bites," says Dr. William Petrie, director of the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division. "Generally speaking, the repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR-3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the most effective. It also helps to limit the amount of exposed skin by donning long-sleeved tops and pants."

Here are some additional tips to help reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites this winter:              

Eliminate all standing water found on your property and discard any objects that can collect water and breed mosquitoes. Primary examples are old tires, empty pots and planters, unused coolers and broken appliances. Be sure to always keep rain gutters free and clear, as they tend to clog over time and thus create potential breeding sites. Keep your pool chemistry to the appropriate specifications even if it’s too cold to swim, and store kiddie pools in such a way to prevent them from accumulating water.

Use larvicide briquettes containing the naturally-occurring and EPA-approved substance called Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) in bird baths and fish ponds and Bti granules in decorative plants such as bromeliads. Using Bti in dunk or granule form eliminates mosquitoes during the larval stage therefore preventing the emergence of adult/biting mosquitoes.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home by covering your windows and doors with screens. Be sure all your existing screens are kept in a good state of repair. This is especially crucial if you plan to sleep with the air conditioner off this time of year. Boat owners, cover your vessels with tarps that do not accumulate water.

Finally, call 311, click www.miamidade.gov/311direct or download and use the all-new Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management mobile app to request a mosquito inspection of your property.

For more information about Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control program, please visit www.miamidade.gov/mosquito.

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