To address a growing population of black salt marsh mosquitoes, Miami-Dade County officials will conduct aerial mosquito spraying Thursday night beginning at 8 p.m.
The salt marsh mosquitoes don’t transmit the Zika virus but do bite humans and can spread heartworm to dogs. County officials say they’ve recently seen large numbers of the mosquitoes in their traps, and have received numerous complaints from callers.
Weather permitting, the aerial spraying will take place over Homestead, Florida City, Redland, West Kendall and areas east of U.S. 1 between Southwest 248th Street and the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Officials plan to spray the pesticide Naled, which sparked protests in Miami Beach last year. Naled is approved for mosquito control by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been used in Florida for decades, but it’s banned in Europe. And a recently released study of Chinese babies exposed to the pesticide found some had slight coordination problems around age 9 months.
Critics say they need more evidence that Naled is safe before they’ll be comfortable with its use.
Mosquito control officials in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties recently told WLRN they'll be limiting their use of Naled for controlling mosquitoes that carry Zika. They plan to depend on other mosquito control techniques, including an organic larvicide.