The battle of the bromeliads is underway in South Florida.

As the region tries to contain the Zika virus, government officials have taken particular aim at the plants that are popular for their vibrant colors but can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

bromiliadmosquitobreedingTheir hard leaves grow in tight, cylindrical formations, which allows water to pool inside and provide a perfect mosquito incubator.

Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach have ordered bromeliads removed from all government property and are encouraging residents to do the same in their homes and businesses. The city of Miami has removed hundreds of plants along the central US-1 corridor. Those who fight mosquitoes every day have applauded those decisions to eliminate the plants that serve as incubators for mosquitoes that spread Zika.

bromeliad1"They're our arch-nemesis," said Yoel Gutierrez, co-owner of Mosquito Joe of South Miami, which has seen its workload triple since Zika began spreading locally in July. "You can walk up to any bromeliad and be about 99% sure that there’s going to be mosquito larvae in there."

Read More (USA Today)