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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – With the start of the summer rainy season, the state’s Department of Health reminds all residents to “drain and cover” to help control those pesky mosquito populations.
Compounding the issue this week is standing water left behind by Tropical Storm Colin, which health officials say would make a great breeding ground if not addressed. They point out that it only takes a bottle cap of water for some mosquitoes to breed and multiply.
“We must all do our part to act quickly to eliminate new sources of standing water brought on by Tropical Storm Colin, which can rapidly become mosquito breeding sites,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “While we have not experienced local transmission of Zika in Florida, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect ourselves from mosquito bites in and around our homes.”
Residents not sure where to start should first look around their yards.
Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected. Clean out troughs and gutters. Also, flip over any plastic pots you have outside so they don’t collect water.
Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week and remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
If you you use tarps to protect your boat or vehicle make sure they don’t accumulate water.
Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
To protect yourself outside, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
Also, keep mosquitoes out of your house – repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.