Now that tropical storm season is here, frequent rainstorms are back. This results in more standing water, which provides more opportunities for mosquitos to breed.
The Sumter County Health Department recently issued a news release reminding residents that “preparing for a tropical storm or hurricane is important, but so is preparing for the aftermath of the storm. Taking certain precautions can help you and your family avoid irritating mosquito bites, prevent mosquito-borne infectious diseases, and dispose of standing water quickly and efficiently.”
To help reduce the mosquito population, don’t provide standing water. This will help 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, pots, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used. Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week. Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water. Maintain swimming pools and empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
To avoid getting bitten by mosquitos, wear shoes, socks long pants and long sleeves in areas where mosquitoes are present. Apply mosquito repellents in accordance with the label instructions.
Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent, especially for children. 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. Some repellents are not suitable for children. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
For more information on what repellent is right for you, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool at http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform.
Sumter CHD also advises residents with wells affected by flood waters or power outages with pressure loss to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink. To know if your water is safe, have your water tested by a certified laboratory for coliform bacteria, if available. For more information on well water testing, contact the DOH-Sumter Environmental Health Program at 352-569-3133. To find another certified laboratory, visit https://fldeploc.dep.state.fl.us/aams/index.asp.
For more information about the Sumter County Mosquito Control Division, visit www.sumtercountyfl.gov/193/Mosquito-Control.