PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – West Central Florida county health departments stress the importance of Florida’s residents and visitors protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus disease. The public should remain diligent in preventative measures such as “Drain and Cover.”
West Central Florida county health departments include those serving Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties.
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots, pans, or other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty 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 swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated.
- Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
- Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Repellent – 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, 2-undecanone, and IR3535 are effective.
- Some repellents are not suitable for children. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
To determine which repellent is right for you, consider using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool for skin-applied repellent products: http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform.
DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Malaria, and Dengue.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH’s Web site at www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/index.html