Heavy rains bring more mosquitoes

Broward County spends $1.4M per year on mosquito control

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Residents in eastern Broward complained Tuesday that their neighborhoods were swarming with mosquitoes and they pleaded with the county's mosquito control division to get the problem under control.

"You can't go outside. You can't eat in your backyard and you really don't want to go in the pool because their all over you," said east Hollywood resident Patty Asseff.

Asseff said her granddaughter went home covered in bites after a recent visit to her house and it had the girl's mother concerned.

"She brought her daughter to the doctor because she thought she had chicken pox. The doctor said you don't have chicken pox, you have mosquito bites, you just need to treat the bites," Asseff said.

Asseff, a Hollywood city commissioner, expressed her frustration over the county's mosquito fighting efforts last week.

"I mean honestly, I don't know who's doing what, but someone needs to check into it," she said at the June 19th meeting. "We need them out there. You can't even go in your yard. it's so bad right now."

"When you've had rain like we've had all over, it's like, where do you go first?" said Joe Marhefka who heads up Broward County Mosquito Control. He's used to the complaints, in fact he got about 500 of them last week alone. Each one is documented and marked with a pin on big map of the county in his office.

Marhefka said spray trucks have been on the road six days a week, usually at night, when mosquitoes are most active. Crews on the ground are also scouring the county and putting pesticide in pools of standing water. Aerial spraying is reserved only for extreme cases.

"No, because we don't like to put pesticide out where we don't have too," he said.

Broward County spends $1.4 million dollars a year on mosquito control, but Marhefka said homeowners play a big part in the effort to take the bite out of the air.

"People can be their best friend and their neighbors best friend if they would just turn buckets over and anything that's holding water in their yard," Marhefka said.

To report mosquito problems or request spraying in Broward County, call 954-765-4062 or click this link.

To do the same in Miami-Dade County, call 311 or click this link.

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