Marion County — In a press release, the Marion County Health Department said that in the near future mosquito populations are expected to be larger than normal due to Hurricane Irma.
Florida Department of Health Officials is urging Floridians and visitors to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases during as floodwaters continue to recede. Everyone should remain diligent in preventative measures like draining excess water and covering their skin.
Here are some tips that will assist with preventing mosquito infestation and illness
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying:
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, 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 to twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition and keep them appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover skin with clothing or repellent:
- Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people working in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. See Tips on Repellent Use below for additional instructions related to children.
- Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
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.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing (but not under clothing).
- Avoid applying repellents to children’s hands. 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. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- 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.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.