The Zika Virus and Your Swimming Pool

The threat of the Zika virus has been looming over Florida since the beginning of the year and in Miami Dade since July 29 when the first cases of locally transmitted Zika where announced. But how can the fight against the virus affect pool owners? Here we will attempt to answer your concerns.

As you probably already know the Zika virus spreads through mosquito bites, specifically the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and sexual transmission. The fight against the mosquito has prompted health officials to implement aerial fumigations on Miami Beach and Wynwood with the EPA approved pesticide Naled.

But the use of Naled has raised concerns in citizens. The pesticide is banned in the EU and it’s neurotoxic. However when properly applied to kill adult mosquitos minimum doses of the pesticide are used. Also, according to a document issued by the Florida Department of Health the Florida Department of Agriculture, Naled quickly disintegrates after spraying and the breakdown products of Naled only last a short time in the environment.

Bottom line, can you swim in your pool after Naled is sprayed?

“Since Naled spray droplets are designed to stay airborne for an extended period, little Naled is expected to settle in your pool. Also, the water in the pool dilutes and quickly breaks down any Naled that might enter the water. If you choose, you can cover your pool before spraying occurs. You do not need to take special steps or wait before you can use your pool again,” says the same document.

Mosquitoes reproduce in standing water. They are most attracted to the water in the shadow and the one that contains organic debris like leaves, which provide food for the larvae. This is why now more than ever it is very important to keep your pool properly chlorinated, free of organic debris and with constant water flow with the help of your pool pump.

An abandoned pool where the water is not treated is a paradise for mosquitoes. If you are not using your pool, draining it is also not the answer. With the amount of rain that pours in South Florida, it will quickly fill up again with at least a couple of feet of water. And mosquitos don’t need a whole lot of water to reproduce. As little as a teaspoon of water is enough. Another big reason while emptying your pool is not the answer is the fact that the pool can pop out of the ground due to the phreatic levels in our region, or the amount of water in the soil.

To kill the larvae of the mosquito, authorities have been using Bti, a biological or a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils. (Bti is short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis.) They have been using trucks in Miami Beach to spray Bti. But again you should not worry about this spraying either. According to the EPA, Bti does not pose a risk to crops or water supplies.

In conclusion, the most important thing for pool owners during the Zika virus outbreak is to keep your pool well maintained with the water properly chlorinated. If you need help with your pool cleaning you can always give us a call and we can take care of everything. Contact us here for a free estimate.