Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is asking residents to partner with the County to combat mosquito-borne illnesses – especially Zika.
In a message addressed to all Orange County residents Mayor Jacobs talks about the strategies Orange County has implemented and outlines the simple tasks residents can use to fight the spread of the Zika virus.
According to Jacobs’ message, the two types of mosquitoes known to transmit the Zika virus bite during the day and breed in small collections of standing water, such as the top of your garage bin, pool covers, birth baths and flower pots.
Jacobs is asking residents to help in the fight by ridding yards and/or businesses of standing water.
Residents are also encouraged to report roadside debris like tires or open containers by dialing 3-1-1 so the County or other appropriate agency can remove these items.
Here are the recommendations from the Florida Department of Health and Orange County Mosquito Control:
- 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. Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s 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: Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house: Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
- WEAR 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. EPA-approved repellent is safe for pregnant women to use. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson also weighed in on the Zika battle. “Residents need to empty all containers after every rain,” said Nelson. “This is perhaps the most important action residents can take to prevent the spread of Zika.”