Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division offers tips to prevent mosquito breeding and biting

Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control Division has been working around the clock to monitor the mosquito populations through the county – testing mosquitoes for the presence of diseases, regularly performing larviciding treatments by truck in select areas, and inspecting homes and businesses. Mosquito surveillance, treatments, and inspections are occurring up to seven days a week as the County and State of Florida remain under mosquito-borne illness alerts.

“With the Florida Department of Health’s statewide mosquito-borne illness alert and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Alert Network Health Advisory due to the local transmission of malaria in the Sarasota area, Miami-Dade Mosquito Control remains vigilant and active in fighting the bite,” says Acting Mosquito Control Division Director Dr. Isik Unlu. “Our extremely professional crew is highly trained, fully staffed, and we are capable of quickly scaling up our control measures should the need arise.”

The Mosquito Control Division recommends the following tips to prevent mosquito breeding and biting:

·    Drain standing water from yard items like garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
·    Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren’t being used.
·    Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.
·    Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
·    Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools, empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
·    Cover your skin with clothing if you must be outside when mosquitoes are active; Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
·    Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
·    Always use repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR-3535, and always use them according to label.
·    Use mosquito netting to protect young children, especially those younger than two months.
·    Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
·    Repair broken screens and windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Most native mosquito species, including the malaria vector Anopheles, are active during the dusk to dawn hours, which is why truck spray treatments take place between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m. The invasive Aedes species is active during the daytime, which underscores the importance of applying a United States Environmental Protection Agency-registered repellent before going outdoors.

The Mosquito Control Division’s truck spray program’s fleet to combat mosquito larvae is powered by three heavy-duty trucks outfitted with Buffalo Turbines. The trucks spray a mix of water and the spores of the naturally occurring bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). This pesticide kills only mosquito and black fly larvae, and does not harm humans, pets, wild animals, birds, or pollinators. The areas previously affected by Zika are regularly treated throughout the year; certain high-traffic and high mosquito trap count areas are added on during the rainy season, which coincides with peak mosquito season.

The crew of more than two dozen inspectors is equipped with hand-held and backpack spray units and can treat individual residences and businesses on the spot, should the presence of mosquitoes be verified. There are nearly a dozen trucks outfitted with special spray nozzles that target and eliminate adult mosquitoes, including Grizzly and LV-8 truck spray units. Learn more at

The division’s research department, headed by mosquito control veteran Chalmers Vasquez, who played a key role in the County’s response to the Zika outbreak of 2016, uses a network of more than 300 mosquito traps to surveil and sample the mosquito populations of Miami-Dade. They count and log them by location, species, gender, and send them off to the Florida Medical Entomology Lab and the United States Department of Agriculture for disease testing. The data they compile helps to drive the decisions made of when and where to spray throughout the County.

Inspections for residences and businesses located within Miami-Dade County are available and can be requested by dialing the County’s 311 call center, by visiting to make an online request, or by downloading the MDC Solid Waste mobile app available for Android and iPhone. Once a request for inspection is made, a County inspector is sent to the location within one to two business days where the inspector checks the property for breeding and the presence of adult mosquitoes, which are then eliminated.

Learn more about the mosquito control division and get additional tips at

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