The mosquito population in Miami Beach is back on the rise.
On Tuesday officials from Miami-Dade announced that they plan to combat this problem by aerial spraying the insecticide ‘naled’ across South Beach – a decision that will undoubtedly raise opposition from some.
The aerial spraying was scheduled to being at 5 a.m. on Thursday 8th September, between 8th and 28th street, however officials decided to give the city an extra 24 hours to notify the public, pushing the date back to today.
The plane will actually spray over the ocean and allow the insecticide to be carried towards Miami Beach by the wind. The area will be sprayed for a second time on Sunday 11, followed by another two times on the following Sundays.
State officials and the Center for Disease Control had previously said that the urban density of the Miami Beach area made aerial spraying untenable; they have now u-turned on that decision.
The ultimate recommendation came from the CDC and Governor Rick Scott following the increase in mosquito counts over the Labour Day Weekend. Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade’s Mayor, said in a written statement:
“This is the right and safe thing to do at this time.” Carlos Gimenez”
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that naled can be used in sufficiently small doses as to control mosquitoes without posing risks to humans – aside from mild skin or eye-irritation. However some studies have suggested that long-term exposure, even in low levels, is enough to lead to serious health implications for infants and children.
Many do not want naled to be sprayed into Miami Beach’s air but it may be a small price to pay to prevent the spread of Zika, which will undoubtedly have an effect on the regions tourism and economy.
The mosquito quelling efforts have also been undertaken on the ground with special trucks deployed to spray larvicide in various areas of Miami Beach. The mosquito’s breeding areas were targeted on Tuesday morning with the mosquito larvae killer, Bti.
Health officials identified an area of Miami Beach as an active Zika transmission zone and everything has been done since then to try and contain the situation.For the time being the truck spraying will continue.
Because of their already-warm temperatures, it’s no surprise that southern cities like Miami, South Beach, Orlando are at high risk
Between August 21 and September 1 mosquito counts in Miami beach had fallen by up to 64% according to county officials. The reduction was attributed to a combination of factors; spraying efforts by trucks and hand-held devices, the removal of bromeliads, and other efforts to control mosquito breeding.
Carlos Gimenez said that the spraying across Miami beach will consist of four cycles of pesticide targeted at the fully grown insects.
“We will keep the number of adulticide missions to a minimum on school days, and parents may prefer to keep students indoors until 6:30 a.m. following aerial spraying.”
Many are worried about the potential affects the insecticide could have on the human population. However Lee Case, who is a senior director at Miami-Dade’s waste management department, has said that the naled insecticide dissipates when it comes into contact with water and soil moisture.
“It doesn’t persist in the environment; it is inactive when it hits the water.”
The use of naled to combat mosquitoes has had knock-on effects overseas. The residents of Puerto Rico have strongly protested the use of naled despite being one of the worse countries to be hit by Zika.
Source & Picture : Miami Herald & New York time