“In light of Zika activity in our state, we are urging residents to do their part to reduce the mosquito population,” said Rob Krueger, Entomology and Education Support Specialist, Pinellas County Mosquito Control.
Steps residents can include:
- Empty any containers that can hold water (examples: flower pots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires and bucket.
- Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
- Flush ornamental bromeliads or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.
- Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water.
- Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly.
- Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
- Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
- Cover rain barrels with screening.
- Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas and around septic tanks and heat pumps.
- Eliminate standing water, improve drainage and prevent future puddling.
“It’s important for residents to remember the three D’s of mosquito prevention,” said Krueger. “Dress wisely, defend with a good mosquito repellent and drain standing water.”
Mosquito bites can irritate skin and potentially spread disease. Residents are urged to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by wearing mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, IR3535, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus) and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants. These simple preventive measures can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in Pinellas County and minimize mosquito-borne diseases.
For more information about Pinellas County Mosquito Control, visit www.pinellascounty.org/mosquito.