Tallahassee - The Florida Department of Health urges all residents and visitors to "drain and cover" to prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water so by eliminating those sources of water it will prevent them from multiplying. Reducing the contact your family has with mosquitoes can reduce the chance for illness.
"Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent mosquito-borne disease," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take simple steps that reduce the chance of being bitten, like draining any standing water, covering skin with clothing or repellent and maintaining screens over doors and windows."
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including in flower pots, old car tires and buckets. 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 will not accumulate water. Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Be sure to empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover skin with clothing or repellent. 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 and IR3535 are effective.
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.
People at increased risk for severe disease include newborns exposed during delivery, people 65 years of age or older and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Florida Department of Health at www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/index.html or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/list_mosquitoborne.htm.