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Drain that bucket: Ian rainfall leads to mosquito breeding boom

West Nile Virus mosquitoes
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL)– As South Florida begins to dry out from the soaking brought on by the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, standing water could lead to a proliferation of mosquitos across the region.

From Tuesday to Wednesday this week some areas of Palm Beach County saw above average rainfall totals with nearly 8″ falling in Royal Palm Beach and 5.29″ in Wellington.

Boca Raton recorded less rainfall with 3.84″ across two days.

County officials are asking residents and business owners to dump out any standing water on their property to prevent widespread breeding of mosquitos which can lead to certain types of illness including West Nile Virus and Zika.

The insects breed wherever water can collect including in planters, garden tools such as wheelbarrows, buckets, children’s play equipment, birdbaths and discarded tires.

Even certain types of plants, such as Bromeliads, can collect small amounts of water and be a prime spot for mosquitos to lay their eggs.

If you spot standing water on your property, simply pour it out, and for large bodies of standing water consider purchasing larvicide from the pest control section of your local hardware store.

Palm Beach Mosquito Control also suggests applying a mosquito repellant containing DEET if you plan on being outside after dark and to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to help prevent being bitten.