ORLANDO, Florida – Due to heavy rainfall from Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is reminding residents and visitors of the importance of protecting themselves against mosquito-borne illnesses. Everyone should remain diligent in preventive measures such as “Drain and Cover”.
DRAIN stagnant water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
- Empty water from garbage cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other container where rainwater has collected.
- Throw away old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren’t in use.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week. Protect boats and vehicles from the rain with covers that do not accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition and keep them properly chlorinated. Empty plastic 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 working in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Repellent – Apply insect repellent to bare skin and clothing. See repellent tips
Use below for additional child-related instructions.
– Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol and IR3535 are effective.
– Use mosquito nets to protect children under 2 months.
Advice on the use of repellents
- Always carefully read the instructions on the label for approved use before applying any repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
- Products containing up to 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other repellents approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535. These products are usually available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to list on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or clothing, but not under clothing.
- To protect children, read the instructions on the label to make sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under three years of age. DEET is not recommended for children under two months of age.
- Avoid applying repellents to children’s hands. Adults should first apply the repellent to their own hands, then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothes.
- If additional protection is needed, apply a permethrin-based repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
COVER doors and windows with mosquito nets:
- Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches and patios.
Tips for Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Clean troughs and gutters;
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain them;
- Turn or remove empty plastic jars;
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups;
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water;
- Replace water in birdbaths and feeding dishes for pets or other animals at least once a week;
- Change the water in plant containers, including hanging plants, at least once a week; and
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that impede the flow of water.
Discover this public service announcement on the “Drain and Cover” campaign: here
For more information on preventing mosquito-borne illnesses, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov/emergency.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, strives to protect, promote, and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county, and from the community.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.