Sarasota County Mosquito Management reports that heavy rainfall this summer has led to the most active mosquito season since 2006. And while there have been no reported incidents in Sarasota County during the past two months of mosquito-borne disease, officials at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County urge residents to take precautionary measures to keep mosquitoes from living and breeding near homes and places of business.
The number one tip from Mosquito Management to keep the disease-carrying insects away is to limit the amount of manmade objects that collect standing water. Trash cans, recycling bins, tires, toys, plastic pools, tarps, boats and plant pots are prime mosquito breeding spots after a rainstorm.
Sarasota County Mosquito Management staff is monitoring the area for the emergence of mosquito-borne disease using a combination of DNA analysis, mosquito traps and livestock blood samples. They are also spraying for mosquitoes around the county from the ground and air each week according to risk levels.
Top tips from the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County to keep your home or business safe from mosquitoes, include:
DRAIN standing water:
ï‚· Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
ï‚· Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that are not being used.
ï‚· Empty and clean birdbaths and your pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
ï‚· Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that do not accumulate water.
ï‚· Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER your skin with:
ï‚· CLOTHING — If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
ï‚· REPELLENT — 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.
ï‚· Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens.
ï‚· Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
To report a mosquito problem, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 861-5000 or visit the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County’s (DOH-Sarasota) website.