TAVARES — During Florida’s rainy season, outdoor activities often go hand-in-hand with the buzz of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Lake County Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Management is reminding residents of the health risks associated with mosquitoes as they become more active in the coming months.
The county is currently hitting the road with its A1 mister, an industrial blower which can cover larger area with larvicides and adulticides. The chemicals being used have the same active ingredient as in previous years, but the county has upgraded to a time-released liquid that can last between 30 and 60 days, as opposed to just one week.
“Our new, more advanced equipment is designed to blow a safe mist over both rural and urban areas,” said Craig Scott, Lake County Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Management Program Manager. “Regular trucks have a 300-foot range, while this one can cover 600 feet or more - or up to three downtown blocks simultaneously.”
The mosquito-borne diseases that Scott is most concerned with this year include Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), West Nile Virus (WNV) and the Zika Virus. Horse owners should properly vaccinate their animals against both EEE and WNV and dog owners are encouraged to ensure their pets are on year-round preventative medicine for heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquitoes.
Residents should keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to create a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos carrying these viruses. They simply require water to complete their life cycle, therefore if their water source is eliminated, so are their offspring.
Follow “the 3 D’s” to adopt safe mosquito control in and around your property:
• Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
• Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
• Defend: Properly apply an approved mosquito repellent.
Rain gutters, buckets and tires all make excellent spots for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. It is important to drain and cover these items on your own property and encourage neighbors to do so as well as part of a community-wide effort.