When it comes to stopping mosquito bites — and mosquito-borne illnesses — residents are the first line of defense, says the Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM).
“While we have a proactive mosquito control program in Miami-Dade County, we can’t possibly be everywhere at once,” said Alina T. Hudak, Deputy County Mayor and DSWM director. “That’s why residents should check their properties and ensure there is no standing water where mosquitoes can breed.”
Of particular concern is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector for tropical diseases including dengue, chikungunya and, more recently, Zika.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed in containers and plants that hold water, such as bromeliads. With all the rainfall Miami-Dade County has, that means it can breed anywhere: lawns, vacant lots, common areas and more.
You can do your part to reduce the mosquito nuisance when you drain and cover. DSWM mailed out a postcard with drain and cover tips earlier this summer to one million Miami-Dade households, but they’re very important so here they are again:
• Drain all standing water outdoors, even small amounts. Empty cans, buckets, garbage cans, house gutters, flower pots, plants that hold water, bottles, toys, plastic “kiddie” pools, lids, old tires, pool covers, barrels and any other item that holds water.
• If you have a boat, turn it upside down or cover it, making sure the cover doesn’t also hold water.
• Maintain your swimming pool properly and run the pump regularly— mosquitoes don’t breed in moving water.
• Twice a week, empty or rinse out bromeliads and other plants that hold water, pets’ water bowls and birdbaths.
• Cover doors and windows with screens, and protect infants with mosquito netting.
• Avoid going outside at dawn and dusk. If you go outside, wear long, loose, light-colored clothing, shoes and socks.
• Use a repellent outdoors. The best repellents contain DEET or picaridin.
Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Section conducts mosquito inspections and spraying operations countywide to help reduce the mosquito population. To request a mosquito inspection or report a mosquito nuisance, call 3-1-1. For more information on mosquito control in Miami-Dade County, visit www.miamidade.gov/mosquito.