CRESTVIEW — Due to recent heavy rainfall, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County and Okaloosa County Mosquito Control are stressing the importance of protection against mosquito-borne diseases.
“Calls have tripled, and Okaloosa County Mosquito Control has implemented the nightly spray schedule following recent rains,” said Scott Henson of Okaloosa Public Works.
Follow these tips to prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business:
●Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or other containers collecting sprinkler or rainwater.
●Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other unused items.
●Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least once or twice a week.
●Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
●Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
●Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves outside.
●Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
●Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
●Cover doors and windows with screens.
Symptoms of mosquito-borne virus infection may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual has a mosquito-borne illness. DOH laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne disease.
DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito borne viruses and diseases, including West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria and dengue.
See www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/dept_pw_mosquito_control.html for an Okaloosa County Mosquito Control spray schedule.