ORLANDO – With the flooding produced by Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County reminds residents and visitors of the importance of protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
Everyone should remain diligent in preventative measures like “Drain and Cover.”
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 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 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.
· 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 on 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.
COVER doors and windows with screens:
- Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Clean out troughs and gutters;
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain;
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots;
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups;
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water;
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week;
- Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week; and
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
For more information on mosquito-borne illness prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov/emergency.