Summer is here again, and with it the rain and increased breeding of mosquitoes. Broward County has stated that our County has faired well with local Zika Virus transmissions, when compared to our neighbors in the north and south. This means that we have to keep being diligent in order to continue achieving the same results. Mosquitoes can affect the health, safety, and quality of life throughout our community and the best means to control them is to prevent breeding.
Mosquito eggs require water in order to hatch, so it is important to drain any water that has accumulated over a period of time. There are varying species of mosquitoes, and not all of them are capable of transmitting the same diseases. Different mosquitoes also prefer certain places to breed; the species that is capable of carrying the Zika Virus for example, prefers to breed in dark places, and are capable of breeding in very small areas. The key to prevent breeding is to remove and/or clean standing water from properties. The following are common places where water may accumulate and are attractive to mosquitoes:
Mosquito larvacide tablets and dunks are available at some local hardware stores as well as Amazon.com. Clarke Natural Larvacide tablets are especially effective against Zika Virus mosquitoes, last up to sixty days, and are also available on Amazon.com. Any concerns of standing water may be reported by contacting Code Compliance at (954) 390-2151. For further information, including mosquito spray requests, Broward County Mosquito Control may be contacted at (954) 765-4062.
The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, has been confirmed in several travelers who recently visited Latin America. As of May 2016 there is one suspected case of imported Zika virus in Broward County. The Mosquito Control Section of the Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division is working in conjunction with the Florida Health Department to monitor the suspected case of the virus. The Zika virus is carried by the same species of mosquito that we have been targeting over the years.
The Zika virus is a flavivirus, part of the same family as yellow fever, West Nile, chikungunya and dengue. Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, and joint pain. Zika virus is spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti species mosquito. This species of mosquito is often found in areas with stagnant water such as of uncovered buckets, flower pots, unused swimming pools, and discarded tires. So as to curb the spread of the virus, we urge people to dump or drain any standing water that has collected in their property.
The best protection from mosquito-transmitted diseases is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes. Here are a few helpful tips on how you can protect yourself and your family from mosquito-transmitted diseases:
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn.
- Dress in long-sleeved and light-colored clothing in a known mosquito-infested area.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET sparingly to clothing and skin.
- Inspect your yards and drains. Store or dispose cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other debris that can collect and hold standing water which promotes breeding.
- Flush plants weekly.
- Repair leaky pipes.
- Maintain and clean roof gutters.
Additional information on the Zika virus can be found by clicking on these links: