Health Department & Mosquito Control District Urge Precautionary Measures | Health
The St. Johns County Health Department and the Anastasia Mosquito Control District remind residents and visitors to take proper precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. “Each of us can do some very simple things to help protect ourselves, our families and our community against mosquito-borne illness,” said Dawn C. Allicock, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the St. Johns County Health Department.
“Taking personal protection measures, and the community’s participation for prevention and control of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases plays an important role in the integrated mosquito management,” said Rui-De Xue, Ph. D., Director of the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County.
The St. Johns County Health Department and the Anastasia Mosquito Control District encourage everyone to take basic precautions to help limit exposure by following the Department of Health recommendations.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to “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 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 pets’ 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 in good condition and 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 who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
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 old.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house:
Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
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 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.
- 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.
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) works with partner agencies, including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, mosquito control agencies, and state universities throughout the year, to monitor for the presence of illnesses carried by mosquitoes, such as West Nile virus. Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, and dengue.
Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission web site at http://www.myfwc.com/bird/.
For more information, visit DOH’s Environmental Public Health web site at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or call the St. Johns County Health Department at 904-825-5055.