The start of the summer rainy season in Miami-Dade County brings with it an unwanted problem: mosquitoes.
The Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management Department’s (PWWM) Mosquito Control Unit reminds residents that mosquitoes carry a number of potentially serious diseases, including dengue, West Nile virus and, of recent concern in the Caribbean area, chikungunya.
Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Unit conducts numerous mosquito inspections and spraying operations throughout the county to help keep down the volume of mosquitoes.
While Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control works hard to keep the county’s mosquito population in check, the first line of defense is you.
Since its creation in 1935, the goal of Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Unit is to control the mosquito population using the most effective methods, techniques, equipment and insecticides, thus enhancing the quality of life for all residents and reducing the possibility of mosquito- transmitted disease.
You can help reduce mosquitoes’ numbers by remembering to drain and cover.
• Drain all standing water around the yard. Mosquitoes need only a small amount of water to breed. Empty cans, buckets, garbage cans, house gutters, flower pots, bottles, toys, plastic “kiddie” pools, lids, old tires, pool covers, barrels and any other container or item that holds water.
• If you have a boat, turn it upside down if it’s small enough, or cover it if it’s too large to turn. Just make sure the boat cover doesn’t also hold water.
• If you have a swimming pool, make sure to maintain it properly and run the pump every so often as mosquitoes do not like to breed in moving water.
• Twice a week, make sure to empty or rinse out plants that hold water (such as bromeliads), pets’ water bowls and birdbaths.
• Make sure your doors and windows are covered with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house. Protect infants with mosquito netting.
• Avoid going outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk. If you do have to be outside, cover yourself up by wearing loose, light-colored clothing (preferably long pants and long sleeves), shoes and socks.
• Use a repellent when you go outside. Follow the directions on the label. The best repellents use DEET or picaridin. To summarize in a simple fashion, remember the five “Ds:”
• Dusk and Dawn: Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood.
• Dress: Wear clothing that covers the skin.
• DEET: Use repellents containing DEET.
• Drainage: Check your home and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
To request a mosquito inspection or to report a mosquito nuisance, call 3-1-1. For more information on mosquito control in Miami-Dade County, visit online at www.miamidade.gov/publicworks.
For more information regarding the mosquito- borne diseases mentioned you may visit the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County website at www.dadehealth.org or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/travel.