By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With two cases of West Nile virus confirmed in Miami-Dade County, and the rainy season in full swing, it’s time to check in with the folks that wage war on mosquitos on daily a basis.

Dr. Bill Petrie, Director of Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control, says, “We could be in for a medium or heavy mosquito season.”

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Predicting mosquito season is no exact science, but certainly, the week’s heavy rains remind us that mosquitos breed in water and there was plenty of it.

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Miami-Dde mosquito control has been busy with a spraying schedule and answering citizen calls to 311 for mosquito eradication service.

Dr. Petrie says, “That mosquito breed is only around human habitation. Mainly in people’s yards. It only bites human beings.”

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In addition to two cases of the West Nile virus in Miami-Dade, Monroe County reported this week the state’s first locally-acquired dengue fever case of 2020.

“It is not mosquitos coming in from overseas that are bringing dengue. Mosquitos can travel but people are bringing the disease here,” said Dr. Petrie.

Border shutdowns, flight restrictions due to coronavirus have been a good thing for slowing the spread of mosquito-borne disease acquired elsewhere.

So how do you fight back against the buzzing biters?

“Regardless of the season, one should always be mindful to eliminate breeding sources found around the home, which commonly occur in the form of standing water. It is also a good idea to use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved mosquito repellent when venturing outside during peak mosquito hours, typically dusk to dawn,” said Dr. Petrie.

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Here are some other tips:

  • Cover windows, doors and porches with screens.
  • Make sure existing screens are kept in a good state of repair.
  • Keep rain gutters free and clear of debris.
  • Fill in tree holes.
  • Use mosquito netting over cribs.
  • Discard unused objects that may collect water in your yard (old tires, broken appliances, planters).
  • Replace the water in outdoor pet dishes and birdbaths often.
  • Use the larvicide Bti in dunk form for fountains and in granule form in bromeliads.
  • Maintain your pool’s chemistry at recommended levels.
  • Properly store kiddie pools when not in use.
  • Use long-sleeved clothing, pants, socks and hats to protect exposed skin.