New equipment and new employees: PBC preparing to fight Zika virus

Mosquito control has been preparing for Zika
Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 18:45:54-04

Now that federal and state health experts believe mosquitoes in south Florida are carrying the Zika virus, NewsChannel 5 wanted to know what it means for Palm Beach County.

The county’s mosquito control office is wasting no time taking action to keep mosquitos with Zika from breeding.

Chris Reisenger was in the lab this morning when his suspicions became reality.

“Gary in the other office yells to turn the news on,” he said.

Governor Rick Scott was on TV to announce four cases of Zika very likely came from mosquitos in Miami.

“It’s basically all hands on deck now,” said Reisinger, the environmental analyst for Palm Beach County Mosquito Control.

He said the agency has been preparing for the worst and now that the worst is here, the team hired four more staffers, two temporarily.

One of those employees will be dedicated to setting traps that target the mosquito which transmits Zika.

“There's not a whole lot we can do to make sure they don't end up here. What we can do is try to stop them from breeding here,” Reisinger explained.

One way to stop mosquitos from breeding is to exterminate them. Reisinger said his team purchased eight new foggers to spray an insecticide in areas with high numbers of the pesky mosquito.

“At this point we can't afford not to have equipment working,” he said.

19 people in Palm Beach County have tested positive for Zika, but every case is travel related.
Reisinger said his department will focus its attention on neighborhoods where those people live, so the virus doesn't spread.

There are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of being bit. Use bug spray with at least 25% Deet.

Drain standing water from pots, birdbaths, and other areas around your home.

Mosquitos breed in those little puddles.