With a murky abandoned swimming pool as a backdrop, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn set out to assure residents the city is doing everything it can to fight the Zika virus.
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- Zika: What you need to know
Buckhorn said the city is not waiting for politicians to take action on the virus locally. He promised his city will be pro-active.
"I can’t tell you when Congress is going to come back in session, I can’t tell you when Zika dollars are going to be available, all I can control is what I can control and I can control this,” said Buckhorn. “So, we’re not waiting for anybody else we’re gonna go after it and eliminate a lot of these opportunities for mosquito breeding to occur."
Standing in the backyard of a Tampa home set for demolition with a swimming pool full of standing water, Buckhorn said the city must eliminate breeding grounds.
That's one of the steps code enforcement is taking, deploying mosquito dunks citywide.
Dunks have been used for years by pest control officials to kill mosquito larvae before they mature into biting adults.
"We have purchased 3,600 of these dunks that we will distribute," Buckhorn said. "And they (code enforcement) will distribute as they make their rounds through the city to throw them into pools, throw them into retention ponds and throw them into swales.
“(We will) throw them into areas that hold standing water - this will kill any mosquitoes or any larvae that's contained within."
One of the dunks can cover a 100 square-foot area and last for 30 days. Mayor Buckhorn reminds residents to wear insect repellent, keep their yards free of standing water and to report areas of concern in their neighborhood by calling 813-274-5545.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said more federal resources are needed to combat the spread of the Zika virus in South Florida.
They're holding a news conference Monday at a popular Miami Beach cafe in an effort to urge Congress to return from its summer break to deal with the virus outbreak.
President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion in emergency funds in February to develop a vaccine and control the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
But lawmakers left Washington in mid-July for a seven-week recess without approving any of the money.
Mosquito-borne Zika cases have been found in two neighborhoods of Miami-Dade County.
They're the first areas on the U.S. mainland where health officials determined mosquitoes were transmitting Zika.