Significant rainfall and standing water have increased mosquito populations. The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) reminds citizens and visitors the importance of taking steps to prevent bites.
To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, they recommend
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots, 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. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
- Those who must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective. Use netting to protect children younger than two months.
FDOH-Alachua and local mosquito control continue surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the County. Residents should report mosquito problems to their local municipality's mosquito control or the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.