Summer is rainy season in south Florida and that means an increased number of mosquitoes. Aside from the diseases they carry, such as Zika virus, mosquitoes are a nuisance. That’s why Weston’s Department of Public Works is placing larvicide throughout the city, to complement Broward County’s efforts to eradicate mosquitoes.
Public Works crews recently placed mosquito larvicide briquets into all 1,600 catch basins located throughout Weston. Catch basins are the grated storm drain structures along the sides of roadways into which rain water runs.
These mosquito larvicide briquets are specially-designed to kill mosquitoes in areas that hold water. The extended time-release product lasts up to six months. It has been proven effective in controlling larvae of mosquitoes which may carry Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya.
The use of this larvicide by the City of Weston is in addition to the aggressive mosquito spraying efforts by Broward County. The Mosquito Control Division performs preventive truck larvicide spraying in areas with reported concentrations of mosquitoes, such as Weston. The county uses an organic, biodegradable bacterial mosquito larvicide which is not harmful to humans, pets, bees, aquatic habitats or environmentally sensitive areas.
In addition, the County Biologist regularly traps mosquitoes, separating them by species to detect any potential viruses. His findings help determine what chemical application Broward County will use and what type of spraying is required, either aerial or ground.
Mosquitoes breed by laying eggs in water and near standing water. Mosquitoes can breed and multiply in as little as one teaspoon or bottle cap of water standing for more than one week. Therefore, Weston residents are being asked to do their part to eliminate standing water. At least once a week, empty, turn over or cover anything in your yard that could hold water. This includes buckets, children’s toys, pools and pool covers, birdbaths, trash and recycling containers, and roof gutters. In addition, keep flower pots and saucers free of standing water. Some plants, such as bromeliads, hold water in their leaves, so flush out water-holding plants with your hose at least once a week. Keep mosquitoes out of your home by keeping windows and doors closed and repairing holes in screens.
Weston residents can further protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites by using an EPA-registered insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET or another recommended active ingredient such as Picaridin or IR3535. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants is also effective. However, mosquitoes can bite through clothing so consider buying clothes treated with permethrin or other EPA-registered insecticides for extra protection.
If you notice excessive mosquitoes in your neighborhood, you can request Broward County Mosquito Control spray the area by calling 954-765-4062 or submitting an online request form at http://www.broward.org/Streets/Mosquito/Pages/MosquitoSprayRequest.aspx.