Mosquitoes are a year-round issue in South Florida but become especially pesky during the rainy summer months.
Miami-Dade County monitors the mosquito population throughout the year and has budgeted $13 million, 10 times more than 10 years ago, to make sure residents are protected. Last year's mosquito season was fairly quiet but this year, viruses such as Zika and yellow fever are circulating in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The County has aerial spray contracts in place, should aerial spraying be needed.
Residents are encouraged to make their own preparations as we enter peak mosquito season.
Fight the bite by following some simple tips:
- Eliminate standing water. A capful of water can breed up to 300 mosquitoes. Drain and cover items that accumulate water like pots, planters, tires, baby pools, boats, tree stumps (fill with mortar) and rain gutters. These areas attract egg-laying mosquitoes
- Beware of the bromeliad. These decorative plants are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Flush the center of the plant with fresh water or add a few drops of vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray to the center where water accumulates to prevent hatching. Using larvicide granules containing the naturally-occurring EPA-approved substance called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) also helps to prevent breeding
- Protect bird baths, fish ponds and pet dishes. Change pet water dishes and bird baths at least once a week to disrupt the mosquito life cycle. Use larvicide briquettes containing Bti in fish ponds and bird baths
- Secure the home. Check screens for gaps and holes to prevent mosquitoes from making themselves "at home"
- Use mosquito repellant. Choose a repellant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, like oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is natural and effective and has a pleasant smell
- Cover up. Wear long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes. Consider using mosquito netting to cover the bedding of children younger than two months
The Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division monitors a network of more than 180 traps, conducts truck larvicide missions and responds to resident inspection requests. To request a mosquito inspection of your home or business, call 311, go online to 311direct or use the Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Management Mobile app for iPhones.
Read more about mosquito control