Miami Beach city leaders are at odds with a scheduled aerial spraying of the insecticide Naled over a 1.5-square-mile infection zone.
In a statement Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the flights recommended by Florida health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin Thursday and continue for a month.
Gimenez said the number of Miami Beach mosquitoes found with Zika increased over the weekend.
The Florida Health Department announced Tuesday six new non-travel related cases of the Zika virus in Miami Beach.
Not everyone is happy about the planned aerial spraying in Miami Beach, including the city’s mayor Philip Levine.
“I am not comfortable with it, but I think it’s important that we listen to the proper scientific and medical authorities and what they recommend,” said Levine
Miami Beach City Commissioner Mike Grieco is very upset over the announcement and has called for a special meeting Wednesday to cancel the scheduled aerial spraying.
Grieco said the aerial assault on mosquitoes could be a threat to everyone.
“It’s a neurotoxin. We don’t know the risks. It’s been outlawed in Europe since 2012. It’s something that has not been used in Miami, historically,” said Grieco.
According to a spokesperson for Mayor Gimenez, Naled, which is EPA approved, has been used in Miami-Dade County since the 1970’s.
On Tuesday, county workers started spraying the streets of Miami Beach with a chemical called BTI using specialized trucks. The city announced its use of Buffalo Turbine trucks in its fight against the Zika virus in an email Monday.
Another run was scheduled early Wednesday. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement the truck sprayings targeting mosquito breeding areas will continue for a month.
Specialized trucks are driving through South Beach to spray pesticides that kill mosquito larvae.
The city announced its use of Buffalo Turbine trucks in its fight against the Zika virus in an email Monday. Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control began driving the trucks through the 1.5-square-mile infection zone early Tuesday.
It’s a natural bacteria which kills mosquito larvae to stop them from developing into adult mosquitoes. The street spraying will continue three times a week for the next month.
The Florida Health Department is conducting free Zika testing at the Miami Beach Police Department Tuesday for anyone who lives within the mile and a half Zika zone.