mosquito control

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As the rainy season returns — along with the disease-carrying mosquitoes that reproduce in standing water — the public is getting another chance to comment on one proposed method for fighting mosquitoes.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN News

Mosquito season has officially arrived in Florida, although many would argue it never left.

That perception may soon become reality, according to new studies that show the higher temperatures brought on by climate change are already increasing the range and biting season for many mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti — the infamous carriers of viruses like dengue and Zika, which hit Miami hard enough in 2016 to scare off many tourists.

Imagine this: A pesky mosquito sips some of your blood. Hours later, the blood-sucker drops dead, poisoned by the very blood it just slurped down.

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

A meeting between Miami-Dade County officials and county residents concerned about aerial mosquito spraying was cancelled Monday.

coniferconifer / flickr

When Monroe County held a nonbinding referendum last year on whether  to allow the experimental release of genetically modified mosquitoes, most voters said yes.

This was as the mosquito-borne Zika crisis was exploding. The Food and Drug Administration had already started to clear the way for the field trial.

But residents of Key Haven--the proposed site of the mosquito control experiment--voted against it. And the company that breeds the mosquitoes started looking for another site.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A chemical used for mosquito control in South Florida has been the source of controversy in recent weeks, after a study showed it could be linked to developmental delays in infants.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

While mainland South Florida ramps up its battle against the mosquito that can carry Zika, the Florida Keys has already begun the region's most intensive mosquito control operation.

Kyle Holsten / WLRN

When he had a landscaping business, Bob Hartmann grew 200,000 orchids and thousands of other plants on his three acres in Southwest Ranches, about 15 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

 


Allison Light / Light

The case counts are low, but Zika's still a threat.

That was the message of a meeting of county and state mosquito control officials Monday in Doral.

Kyle Holsten / WLRN News

A federal judge has dismissed a request to stop aerial spraying of the pesticide Naled in Miami-Dade County, describing the plaintiffs' complaint as "poor" and recommending they get a lawyer before pursuing further legal action.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

Last year, the pesticide Naled was one of several tools officials used to control mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Dr. Michael Hall was one of many Miami Beach residents who protested, saying Naled exposure leads to symptoms like headaches and nausea. He and other protesters also expressed fears the pesticide could have longer-term health effects.

Miami Beach Doctor Files Lawsuit To Stop Mosquito Spraying

Jul 5, 2017
Kate Stein / WLRN

A Miami Beach doctor who last year helped spearhead angry opposition to using the pesticide naled has filed an emergency request in federal court to stop Miami-Dade County from conducting aerial spraying in its seasonal battle against native marsh mosquitoes.

On Monday, the county completed its second flight this season, dosing a large swath of the coast, from the Rickenbacker Causeway south to Florida City, and inland around Kendall and Homestead.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

Weeks after a study linked a pesticide used for mosquito control to slight motor delays in babies, officials in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties say they plan to use that pesticide in aerial spraying scheduled in the coming week.

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