Orange County, Fla. – In Central Florida, mosquito activity increases during the hot, rainy months of the summer season. With increased activity comes the additional threat of mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and Zika.
Mosquitoes are such a serious health threat that the American Mosquito Control Association has declared June 24 through June 30, 2018, as National Mosquito Control Awareness Week.
Orange County Government encourages residents to do their part by inspecting their property for any containers that can hold standing water. Even very small containers, like water in bottle caps, can provide the right environment for mosquito-borne illnesses. Specifically, Orange County is urging residents to Tip, Toss and Cover!
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Tip over standing water, even very small amounts, from flower pots, toys, buckets, pet dishes, trash containers, wading pools and car covers. Flush gutters, bird baths and bromeliads with fresh water from your hose.
Toss out items that can collect water. Put away items not being used and that can hold standing water. Remember, even very small amounts of water provide a home for mosquitoes.
Cover up exposed skin during the day by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. EPA-approved repellent is safe for pregnant women to use. Use mosquito netting on strollers for infants and babies.
Additionally, Orange County Mosquito Control often release Gambusia, or Mosquitofish, a species of fish that like to eat mosquito larvae. This tiny, noninvasive species is native to Central Florida and is commonly found in natural fresh bodies of water, including ponds, canals and lakes. Mosquitofish are now available to Orange County residents, free of charge, and can be released into habitats where they are not already present.
For residents interested in Mosquitofish, please call 407-254-9120. Orange County Mosquito Control will survey the surrounding bodies of water to determine if these fish are a right fit or are already present in your area. You can also visit www.ocfl.net/mosquito or call 3-1-1 with any questions or for additional information.