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Alachua County Health Department Emphasizes the Importance of Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases

3/23/2012 11:00:00 AM
Alachua County Health Department

This press release put out at the request of the Alachua County Health Department.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Summer is almost here and with it comes the mosquito season.  “The Alachua County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of preventing infection from mosquito-borne diseases as we move into the rainy season and the peak of mosquito activity,” said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Alachua County Health Department.

To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, the Florida Department of Health recommends practicing Drain and Cover:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.

  • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
  • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Other Prevention Measures

  • Limit outdoor activity at when mosquito’s are most active.  Avoid areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.
  • Contact your local mosquito control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
  • Fill in holes or dips in the ground that collect water.  Level the ground around your home so water can run off.
  • Stock your ornamental water garden with mosquito-eating fish (minnows, gambusia, goldfish, or guppies).

Repellent Information

·         Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin.  Some repellents are not suitable for children.

·         Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended.  Other EPA-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.  These products are generally available at local pharmacies.  Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.

·         Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing.

·         In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate.  According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years.  DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old.

·         Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present.

·         If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing.  Again, always follow the manufacturer's directions.

For more information, see the CDC's guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm or

EPA guidelines: http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/

Please report mosquito problems to your municipality’s mosquito control agency or the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.

For more information, visit http://www.alachuacountyhealth.com/

The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors.

Contact

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at (352)374-5275 at least 3 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).