MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Just before dawn, trucks loaded with an organic larvacide hit the roads of Miami Beach in the latest round of spraying in the battle against the Zika virus.
The chemical, called Bti, targets mosquito larvae. The chemical, called Bti, targets mosquito larvae. According to the U.S. EPA, “Bti has no toxicity to people, so it can be applied safely to mosquito habitat without a detrimental impact on food crops or water supplies. In fact, Bti can be used for pest control in organic farming operations.”
Bti spores that are eaten by mosquito larvae release toxins into the mosquito’s gut, causing the larvae to stop eating and die.
The county’s mosquito control department said the state of the art Buffalo Turbine trucks, which sprayed from 28th to 47th streets from the beach to the bay, provide greater ground coverage to effectively target breeding areas and reduce the mosquito population.
The ground spraying comes one day after people protested aerial spraying outside a city commission meeting. Many residents are against the spraying of the chemical Naled, which has been banned for use in the European Union. They believe the chemical may be hazardous to their health, despite experts saying the amount sprayed is too low to be harmful.
In the end, the commission did pas a resolution asking the state to investigate and consider every possible option to aerial spraying. In the meantime it will continue with the next aerial spraying scheduled for Sunday morning.
As of Wednesday, there were 71 non-travel related cases of the virus in Florida and 639 travel-related cases. About 86 pregnant women in the state have been infected with Zika.
So far, the local transmission zones are the following:
- Wynwood Area – NW 22nd St. at the South, NE 2nd Ave to NE 23rd St. at the east; NW 3rd Ave to the west; and NE 36th St to the north.
- Miami Beach Area – 28th Street to the north, 8th Street to the south, Biscayne Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Lawmakers in Washington are working on passing a Zika funding bill that could be approved by the House and Senate.