Hurricane Irma may have passed, but a pestering issue remains across South Florida – Mosquitoes!
Officials say the problem is the prolific breeding, or more precisely, the abundant areas where the insects are breeding.
Debris is one major culprit. Residents who are able to properly remove debris from their property will do themselves a great favor by eliminating the moist, inviting insect habitat.
An easy fix is to inspect your property for standing water – not necessarily puddles or ponds – things like containers. Be sure to look for planters, kids’ toys, outdoor furniture, or anything that could be containing even small amounts of water, since most mosquitoes lay their eggs directly in water.
It takes just 24 to 48 hours for eggs to hatch into larvae, so remove the water sources quickly.
Tall grasses, weeds, and brush are perfect environments for mosquitoes to hang out. Keep your grass trimmed and weeds controlled to help ward off mosquitoes.
The Broward County Mosquito Control Section says that crews are working in full force to help control the insect population. They are using techniques like fogging and spraying when the rains have slowed and the winds are relatively calm.
Miami-Dade County reports that although the mosquito numbers have been on the increase, the occurrence of Zika mosquitoes have not.
The Miami-Dade Mosquito Control believes that the massive amounts of rain might have overwhelmed the insects, essentially flooding them out.
The county is also using spraying as the weather allows.
Palm Beach County
The county reports that the past three attempts (Tuesday, Oct. 10, Wednesday, Oct. 11, and Thursday, Oct. 12) to spray for mosquitoes were canceled due to high winds.
The Palm Beach County Mosquito Control website page said that another aerial spray was scheduled for October 13, weather permitting. The page was not updated to say if it had taken place. The recorded message on the county’s AirSpray hotline had not been updated to confirm or deny if the Oct 13 spray was completed.
The planned coverage area is 180,000 acres covering the communities of Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, the Acreage, Jupiter Farms, Palm Beach Country Estates, Caloosa, and the Glades.
The Center for Disease Control
The CDC warns that mosquito-borne diseases are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.
Animals such as dogs and horses can be infected by mosquitoes and parasites. These include dog heartworm, West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). In addition, mosquito bites can cause severe skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva – this is what causes the red bump and itching.