(Brooksville, FL) The Hernando County Mosquito Control department has discovered an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity with three sentinel chickens testing positive for Eastern equine encephalitis. The department will continue surveillance, prevention and control efforts throughout the county however, residents and visitors are advised to avoid mosquito bites and take basic precautions to reduce their exposure. At this time, the county is not under a Mosquito-borne Illness Advisory.
Cover the skin or wear repellent
- Wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, shoes and socks
- Use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved repellent according to the label directions – effective active ingredients include DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535. Look for these ingredients on the label
- Apply repellent to the face and children by spraying your hands first then transfer to the face, child’s skin or clothing. Do not spray on a child’s hands
- Be sure to check that the repellent is recommended for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol for children under three years of age and does not recommend DEET products for children younger than two months old. For children younger than 2 months old, use mosquito netting
- Avoid outside activities at dusk and dawn
Prevent mosquito breeding
- Drain or cover any items that may collect water such as buckets, coolers, toys, flower pots, etc. and check gutters for clogs that may prevent water from draining. Discard any items no longer being used such as tires, bottles, cans, pots, etc.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s dishes at least weekly
- For animal troughs, residents can find mosquito larvae treatments safe for livestock at local hardware and home improvement stores
- Cover or flip boats, kayaks, kiddie-pools and other such items and be sure covers do not sag and collect water
- Maintain swimming pools accordingly. The department can provide mosquito eating fish if you are unable to keep your pool maintained
- Check screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Make repairs as necessary
To report a mosquito issue in your area, contact the Hernando County Mosquito Control at (352) 540-6552 or enter a request online at the following link: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/9234b26263ca499584303ce21e3d7ea3.