The bug to watch for is the Aedes mosquito. Small, black with white spots it lives close to people - outside or inside your house. They specialize in biting humans, and stay active all day.
Aedes mosquitoes carry Zika virus and other tropical viruses such as chikungunya and dengue fever. Up to press time this year, no locally transmitted cases of tropical diseases had been reported in South Florida. However, a few cases have been reported in people who traveled to countries where the diseases are present.
“Everyone should be aware of mosquitoes and take steps to protect themselves,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, director of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County. “The best way to do that is to avoid being bitten. We recommend a practice called drain and cover.”
Drain standing water in and around the house.
Get rid of water that collects in garbage cans, tires, buckets, roof gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots and plants with pockets, such as bromeliads.
Discard items where rain or sprinkler water collects. Clean birdbaths and pet water bowls twice a week.
Eliminate even puddles, because Aedes can breed in containers as small as a bottle cap. Aedes can also breed inside the home, in spots where water drips and collects.
Cover yourself and the openings in your home. If you go outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
Spray your skin and clothing with repellent containing DEET or other approved ingredients. Keep windows and doors closed, and repair damaged screening.
To request brochures, call DOH-Broward at 954-213-0607.
Broward County Mosquito Control will consider spraying your neighborhood if you have a large number of mosquitoes. Call 954-765-4062 or visit www.broward.org/Streets/Mosquito/Pages/MosquitoSprayRequest.aspx for more information.