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Health Department Emphasizes the Importance of Mosquito Protection

Press release from Florida Department of Health in Alachua County

Increasing mosquito populations and mosquito breeding are occurring. The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) would like to remind residents and visitors the importance of protecting yourself by taking the following steps:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater 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.
  • Use netting to protect children younger than two months.
  • Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Tips on Repellent Use:

  • Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
  • Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended for children younger than two months old.
  • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
  • If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

DOH-Alachua and local mosquito control continue surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the county. Report mosquito problems to your municipality’s mosquito control or the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.