Mosquito Control Takes to the Air in Broward

Insecticide dropped on parts of Broward after increase in mosquitoes reported

By Julia Bagg
|  Friday, Sep 7, 2012  |  Updated 12:55 PM EDT
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Broward County is launching an attack by air and land on burgeoning bloodsuckers thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac's rains.

Broward County is launching an attack by air and land on burgeoning bloodsuckers thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac's rains.

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Broward County is launching an attack by air and land on burgeoning bloodsuckers thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac's rains.

"They just bite really bad," said Michael Piatt, a property manager in Pembroke Pines. "They're just a nuisance."

Broward County's Mosquito Control answered complaint calls from the skies Friday morning, dropping insecticide on parts of Coral Springs, Parkland, and Coconut Creek.

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But not everyone considers the insects such a pain.

"I love mosquitoes," said Evaristo Miqueli, an entomologist with Broward County Mosquito Control.

Sure, he doesn't love being bitten, but he loves examining them under a microscope and seeing their tiny colors, bright blue sometimes.

"They're beautiful," he said.

Miqueli checks live mosquito larvae for signs of disease. So far he hasn't found any. The Centers for Disease Control has reported 19 cases of West Nile Virus in Florida, but none in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Monroe Counties.

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Before dawn Friday morning, crews in white suits and masks loaded up a plane with mosquito-killing juice. The mission took just over an hour, and can kill billions of mosquitoes.

There's a reason the trip happens so early: "less people and activity outside," explained Mosquito Control spokesman Joe Marhefka. "Also, the mosquitoes that we're targeting are active."

He said the chemicals are designed only to kill mosquitoes, and not to harm birds or other small animals. And the insecticide doesn't stick around very long.

"As soon as the ultraviolets in the sun come out, they only last ten, fifteen minutes and they're gone," said Marhefka.

Only the females bite, he noted. Plus, a few mosquitoes don't bite at all, and at least one kind helps with pollinating flowers.

If you need help fighting mosquitoes in your neighborhood, call 311 to request a spray.

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