This press release put out at the request of the Alachua County Health Department.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – The significant rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Debby combined with warming temperatures has increased the local mosquito population. “Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus, in addition to being a nuisance” stated Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director of the Alachua County Health Department (ACHD). “Residents are encouraged to decrease their risk of exposure to biting mosquitoes by following personal barrier precautions.”
DRAIN and COVER
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
- DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, 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 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.
COVER your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.
- CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
- REPELLENT: 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. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
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.
Other Prevention Measures
- Limit outdoor activity at when mosquitos are most active. Avoid areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.
- Contact your local mosquito control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
- Fill in holes or dips in the ground that collect water. Level the ground around your home so water can run off.
- Stock your ornamental water garden with mosquito-eating fish (minnows, gambusia, goldfish, or guppies).
· Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
· Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. Other EPA-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 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 CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
· Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present.
· If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer's directions.
For more information, see the CDC's guidelines, or the EPA guidelines.
Click to view the County’s Fight the Bite PSA. This video can be shared online with friends and family on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners appropriates significant funds for mosquito control. Over 200 County maintained retention basins are assessed for mosquitoes and larvicided (or treated with a naturally occurring bacteria,), if needed. Additionally, the Board has approved funding for the surveillance of mosquito population trends and disease transmission. The Alachua County Health Department and the Alachua County Department of Public Works coordinate the control efforts.
Citizens are encouraged to assist in identifying problematic areas by reporting them to the Health Department at 352-334-7930. While adulticiding (or spraying) for mosquitoes is currently not authorized in unincorporated Alachua County, comprehensive control efforts are constantly considered.
For additional information, contact the Alachua County Health Department at 352-334-7930.
Our Mission: The goal of the Alachua County Health Department is to promote, protect, maintain and improve health and safety of all the citizens and visitors