Due to rainfall from Hurricane Idalia, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) reminds Orange County residents and visitors of the importance of protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
DOH-Orange reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure. 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 rainwater has been 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 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 doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
- Clothing - 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.
- Repellent - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
- Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
Additional 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.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. Mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended for children younger than two 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.
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (20-50%), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone 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.
- Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Do not apply permethrin directly to skin. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Check out this public service announcement on the “Drain and Cover” campaign here
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.