HOMESTEAD (CBS4) – Residents across parts of Miami-Dade County will be getting buzzed by something other than mosquitoes starting Tuesday evening.
Specially equipped C-130H cargo planes from the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing in Youngstown, Ohio will be doing low-level passes over the southern sections of the county spraying pesticide from July 26th – July 28th.
The spraying is in response to a large influx of tiny, blood-sucking mosquitoes that have proven to be a big nuisance across the county.
The giant prop powered planes will be flying passes about 150 feet off the ground dispersing Dibrom, a pesticide registered for use in Florida. The plane will drop less than a teaspoon of the chemical over each acre of land. They plan to fly from Homestead to Doral to cover some of the most concentrated areas for mosquitoes.
“Its a big aircraft,” said Captain Travis Adams, the pilot. “So yeah, it does get a lot of attention….but we try to get that message out very early just don’t be concerned.”
Adams said the amount of Dibrom being dropped is not hazardous to your health or your animals. But beekeepers are asked to keep their bees covered.
“The only thing we ask is if you see the aircraft and its very hard not to do is not to look up because in your eyes it will give kind of a sting,” Adams said.
Miami-Dade Mosquito Control reports they’ve been getting hundreds of calls about mosquito populations infesting neighborhoods.
At a summer camp for boys in Homestead, camp organizers are spraying the children down with repellant every hour and using smoke machines and fans to fight off the bugs.
“They’re bad. They’re really bad this year,” said Debbie Zarzabal, camp coordinator. “We go home with at least four or five bites a day and that’s being sprayed.”
Chalmers Vasquez, Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control Operations Manager, said our long drought dried up lots of areas in the Everglades and gave mosquitoes plenty of places to lay their eggs. A combination of rain, which allowed the eggs to hatch, and wind have causing a particularly bad season this year.
The aerial spraying will be from about two hours before sunset to about half an hour after when the mosquito populations are most active.
Anyone with questions about the spraying should contact Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division at (305) 592-1186, or dial 311. You can also request to be put on a list to receive alerts before the county sprays so that you can avoid being outdoors.