For immediate release - June 21, 2005
TAVARES — Employees of the Lake County Mosquito Control and Aquatic Plant Management Section are encouraging residents to join them in recognizing the Seventh Annual National Mosquito Control Awareness Week beginning June 26.
The “Mosquito Week” is sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals. According to Eric Cotsenmoyer, Mosquito Control and Aquatic Plant Management Director and an active ACMA member, mosquito control is especially important for Florida residents.
“Residents must be aware that mosquitoes do transmit harmful diseases to pets and humans,” he said. “There is the potential, or risk, to contracting blood diseases.
“In Florida, there is an ideal habitat and climate for the propagation of large numbers and diversity of mosquitoes. There are close to 76 different species of mosquitoes in the State of Florida, and we have about 46 of those in Lake County.”
During “Mosquito Week” and all months of heightened mosquito activity, residents should adhere to the five “D’s” of mosquito protection. Prevention measures include:
- Dusk and Dawn — Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress — Wear clothing that covers all skin.
- DEET — When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET are recommended. Products with concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. It is not recommended to use DEET on children younger than 2 months old. Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present. If additional protection is necessary, apply a thin layer repellent directly to your clothing. Always read the manufacturer's directions carefully before putting on a repellent. In addition to repellents containing DEET, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently adopted guidelines that recommend two new active ingredients in repellents — Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus — which have shown to offer protection against mosquitoes.
Drainage — Check the home to rid it of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
A few helpful hints Cotsenmoyer suggests to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites around a home are cleaning out eaves, troughs and gutters; removing old tires that collect rainwater; turning over or removing empty plastic pots; checking tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water; replacing water in birdbaths and other pet dishes at least once a week; and removing vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445