South Florida’s rainy weather brings pesky mosquitoes


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The Miami-Dade Health Department and others give tips on how to survive the mosquito season:

Dusk and Dawn: avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.

Dress: wear long, loose, light-colored clothing that covers the skin.

Deet: use mosquito repellents that contain up to 30 percent DEET

Drainage: eliminate standing water around the home in places such as buckets, cans, old tires, and plant containers.

Special to the Miami Herald

The near daily downpours in Doral leave Alfonso Quintero quite annoyed.

“When the rain comes down mosquitoes come in,” said the 23-year-old Venezuelan native.

His neighborhood is surrounded by a field with cows. When it rains, the area floods, leaving stagnant pools of water.

“I was concerned about the dengue virus,” he said. “In Venezuela we deal with the mosquitoes season every year.”

From Hollywood to Homestead, residents are itching and scratching and steaming about the little bloodsuckers.

“I have to run from my house to the car so I don’t get bitten,” Miguel Santos of Homestead wrote on the Miami Herald Facebook page.

“I keep my dogs in doors more to avoid mosquitoes bites,” tweeted Mallory Martinez.

Although Miami-Dade has had 16 cases of reported dengue fever from January to July, the cases were from people who came in from different countries, according the Florida Department of Health.

This year’s mosquito swarm is not as bad as previous years, despite the complaints, said Chalmers Vasquez, operations manager of Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control program.

“The mosquitoes season is lower than normal,” Vasquez said.

County workers are spraying almost daily after the last rainy week, but this is normal for them, he said.

Last year in June, the program received 4,700 complaints. Last month, only 900 phone calls had been recorded, most of them from Homestead.

“It has been raining a lot in the Everglades and Biscayne National Park,” Vasquez said. “If the wind blows to the south, Kendall, Homestead, Florida City or Doral could be affected.”

Broward County’s Mosquito Control started spraying locations with standing water over the weekend in Dania Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie and Fort Lauderdale, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4. On Wednesday, between 4 and 6:30 a.m., they will be spraying areas in the southwest, including portions of Davie and Southwest Ranches.

The county has been spraying insecticide in ditches, swales and other sites, especially in areas that hadn’t been as saturated in years. They are chasing after a species called “floodwater mosquitoes,” where the females lay eggs on dry or damp ground and the eggs remain dormant, sometimes for years, until the ground is flooded. When the water recedes, the eggs hatch.

Mosquitoes are not big deal in the Keys, where they have the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District to handle the pesky bugs.

“It’s another summer,” said control district spokesperson Coleen Fitzsimmons. “It’s typical.”

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