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Defend yourself against high mosquito activity in Polk Co. | Environment

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Defend yourself against high mosquito activity in Polk Co.
Environment, Health, News
Defend yourself against high mosquito activity in Polk Co.

Polk County, FL -- With the onset of the rainy season, Polk County is experiencing a significant increase in biting mosquito populations. Heavy rainfall, soil depressions, and flooded or low-lying areas create favorable mosquito-breeding conditions.

The Polk County Health Department and Board of County Commissioners wants to remind residents and visitors to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes that may cause disease.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to practice the “5 D’s” and “1 S”:

  •     Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.
  •     Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
  •     DEET – Repellents containing up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are recommended.
  •     Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  •     Screens – Repair any torn screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.

Other effective repellants are picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535.

The Mosquito Control Section of the Parks and Natural Resources Division has begun inspections and treatment of known mosquito breeding areas.  

Based on mosquito trap results and citizen service requests, ground and aerial spraying will be used to control adult mosquito populations.  

Residential inspections are also performed to find and eliminate breeding areas and adult mosquitoes.

Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites: Elimination of breeding sites is one key to prevention

  •     Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
  •     Remove old tires or drill drain holes in those used in playgrounds.
  •     Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
  •     Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
  •     Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
  •     Pump out bilges on boats.
  •     Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
  •     Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
  •     Remove vegetation or obstructions that prevent the flow of water in drainage ditches.

Polk County residents experiencing mosquito annoyance should call (863)534-7377, ext. 237, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, or send an e-mail to skeeter@polk-county.net.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the Department of Health’s Environmental Health website, or call the Disease Outbreak Hotline at (888)880-5782.

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