Broward faces risk of mosquito-borne diseases after flood

Crews spray substances to kill mosquitoes, larvae

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Crews were out spraying insecticide to kill adult mosquitoes and larvae in an effort to prevent standing water from becoming a feasting ground for the pesky disease-carrying flies on Tuesday morning in Fort Lauderdale.

Trucks also traveled through Fort Lauderdale’s Edgewood neighborhood to spray puddles of standing water with a product that officials say is safe for both humans and animals.

Broward County’s mosquito control team, based out of North Perry Airport, at 1201 W. Airport Rd., in Pembroke Pines, has been hard at work after the deluge on April 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach, and Hollywood.

The bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito can spread diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collaborates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on mosquito control methodology nationwide.

Amid the risks, crews in Broward also distributed a network of surveillance traps, so experts can identify the types of mosquitoes and diseases that may pose a threat to the community.

Encouraging residents to be proactive, Broward’s mosquito control team cites Spinosad, an organic insecticide, or Bti larvicides, a biological control agent, and specifically three products: The Natular G, DT and XRT, MosquitoDunks®, Mosquito Bits®, and Bonide Mosquito Beater®.

According to the EPA, these have no toxicity to people and are approved for use for pest control in organic farming operations, so people do not need to leave areas being treated. Commercial use may require applicators to wear a dust or mist-filtering mask.

To request service from the county’s team, officials are asking residents to visit this page or fill out the Mosquito Service Request Form. For more information, call 311 or visit this page.

Here is a list of CDC recommendations:

FILE - In this file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents with DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanoic. Children younger than 3 years old should avoid oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol and apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, and use netting to cover strollers and baby carriers
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Use 0.5% permethrin to treat clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear. Do not use permethrin products directly on the skin.
  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
  • Use air conditioning and screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net if you live without screens or air conditioning. Choose a mosquito net that is compact, white, and with 156 holes per square inch. Permethrin-treated mosquito nets provide more protection than untreated nets. Tuck the netting under the crib mattress or select a mosquito net long enough to touch the floor. Pull the net tightly to avoid choking hazards for young children. Check for holes or tears in the net where mosquitoes can enter. Do not hang the net near any candles, cigarettes, or open fires, as it can catch on fire, and do not sleep directly against the net, as mosquitoes can still bite through holes in the net.

Public health education effort

Broward County (.)

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.