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Mosquito spraying pro warns people to be careful of areas with even tiny amounts of water

Summer rains are helping mosquitoes reproduce
Summer rains are helping mosquitoes reproduce 02:50

MIAMI GARDENS – It is peak season for "swamp angels" also known as mozzies, skeeters or simply mosquitoes, and that's why local counties have expanded their spraying programs to keep them at bay. However, one of the key things people can do to help is, clear out areas of stagnant water. 

"So, this catches your sprinkler water, rainwater, all these leaves," Roy Billesbach showed CBS4 the water that collects in Bromeliads, a native plant that grows all over.

Billesbach is co-owner of a Mosquito Shield franchise. He knows mosquito larvae can be found in the smallest pockets of water, usually in shady areas. 

"It started in March of this year, so it was earlier than last year," he told CBS4.

Calls have been pouring in, and he's now busy from open to close. 

"It's that busy, we're looking at a second truck," he said. 

The county is also stepping up efforts to push back on mosquitoes.

"Fight the bite, drain and cover," Mayor Daniella Levine Cava reminded residents.

Currently, Miami-Dade County has a spray scheduled aimed at killing mosquito larvae and it has tips for residents to exterminate mosquitoes where they breed:

  • Clear out rain gutters
  • Fill tree and yard holes with sand
  • Discard yard objects no longer in use
  • Replace pet water and birdbaths once a week
  • Clean out tarps

Dr. Isik Unlu has been overseeing the mosquito control program for Miami-Dade County. 

"If they were still having high numbers during our down season where everything else is quiet, but these areas not quiet, I proposed that we should be doing routine," she explained. 

Even with spraying, pros like Billesbach warns people to be careful of areas with even tiny amounts of water.

"The key is looking for where the mosquitoes are being born because they don't just go to check your house, they live and breed in the same 200 feet," he said.

Of course, nearly all of Florida has water, that's why the mosquito population remains robust. 2 years ago, a new species of mosquito was found in the area, Aedes Scapularis.

"It's not incriminated like a vector of any diseases like Zika virus or yellow fever, it could behave differently in our areas," Unlu said.

Unlu is still studying what the new species may be capable of carrying, in the meantime it's another reason to be vigilant for stagnant water that can breed more of these annoying bloodsuckers.

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