MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The rainy season has started in South Florida and the threat for mosquitoes is growing.

Therefore, Miami-Dade County officials are warning residents to use precautions outdoors.

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Mosquito-borne illnesses are surfacing including dengue, West Nile virus and more recently, chikungunya.

The county’s Mosquito Control Unit will be conducting numerous mosquito inspections and spraying operation to control mosquitoes.

Officials ask residents to assist them by helping to remove standing water from around their homes.

Drain and cover:

Drain all standing water around the yard because mosquitoes need only a small amount of water to breed.

Empty cans, buckets, garbage cans, house gutters, flower pots, bottles, toys, plastic “kiddie” pools, lids, old tires, pool covers, barrels and any other container or item that holds water.

If you have a boat, turn it upside down if it’s small enough, or cover it if it’s too large to turn.  Just make sure the boat cover doesn’t also hold water.

If you have a swimming pool, make sure to maintain it properly and run the pump every so often as mosquitoes do not like to breed in moving water.

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Twice a week, make sure to empty or rinse out plants that hold water (such as bromeliads), pets’ water bowls and birdbaths.

Make sure your doors and windows are covered with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

Protect infants with mosquito netting.

Avoid going outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk.

If you do have to be outside, cover yourself up by wearing loose, light-colored clothing (preferably long pants and long sleeves), shoes and socks.

Use a repellent when you go outside.  Follow the directions on the label.

The best repellents use DEET or picaridin.


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