Continuing a long andconsistent effort to rely on scientific data as the best guide for mosquito control, the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division announces changes to its larviciding truck routes and schedules. The division also suggests residents should not let their guard down during the chillier months of January and February, as mosquitoes do have a year-round presence in Miami-Dade, including a species that can potentially transmit serious diseases.
“Our surveillance program data has shown us a shift in mosquito populations, and as stewards of Miami-Dade County resources, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we adjust our mitigation efforts accordingly,” says Mosquito Control Division Director Dr. William Petrie. “As a division, we have never wavered in our commitment to evaluate and adapt as necessary, and we believe these new routes will help us better control species such as Aedes aegypti, the primary vector of dengue, yellow fever, and Zika, among other diseases.”
Biweekly treatments applied by three specially-outfitted Buffalo Turbine trucks will now take place in Allapattah, Cutler Bay, Deering Bay, Flagami, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Homestead, Kendall, Key Biscayne, select islands on Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Pinecrest, and West Miami. These areas are in addition to the already-existing regular regions of Little River, Miami Beach, and Wynwood. Visit bit.ly/MDCTruckSpray to view route boundary and scheduling information.
Larviciding treatments target mosquitoes in their developmental larval stages when they are immersed in standing rain or irrigation water. Spores from the naturally occurring bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) are mixed in a solution with water and sprayed into the air as a fine mist in order to reach the target. The substance is ingested by the larva, which then disrupts the mosquito’s stomach, killing it within a matter of hours. Only toxic to mosquito and black fly larvae, Bti is the pesticide most often used by the division to combat mosquitoes.
Here are some tips to help keep residents mosquito bite-free this winter, and all year-round:
Cover exposed skin with long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes, and/or with an EPA-registered mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR-3535 as the active ingredient
Properly dispose of any unused items in your yard that may pool rain or irrigation water
Periodically change out the water set out for your outdoor pets
Clear out your rain gutters to prevent clogging and standing water that can facilitate breeding
Maintain the proper chemical levels in your swimming pool all year round to prevent it from turning green and attracting mosquitoes
Using the larvicide Bti in granular form in bromeliads and dunk form in birdbaths and fountains prevents breeding in them
Investing in mesh screening on windows, doors and patios helps keep mosquitoes from entering your home
Request a mosquito inspection and report mosquito nuisance issues like abandoned pools and standing water online at miamidade.gov/311Direct
Residents are encouraged to download and install the Miami-Dade Solid Waste Management Department mobile app, available for iPhone and Android. The app features additional tips and a way to request inspections through it. The division posts planned truck spray routes on its Facebook page at Facebook.com/305Mosquito and on Twitter @305Mosquito.
For additional tips navigate to www.miamidade.gov/mosquito.