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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
Drain and Cover
Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance Coordinator
Whether you’re at home or traveling abroad, preventing mosquito bites is the best way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease.
Mosquitoes can be found in many different environments and you may not always notice when you have been bitten. Mosquito activity in Florida can be year round.
The following are some steps that can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites.
DRAIN: Water from garbage cans, housegutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren't being used.
EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
MAINTAIN: The water balance (poolchemistry) of swimming pools.Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
CLOTHING: If you must be outside whenmosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
Use netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
- Repellent Information
Follow these steps when buying and applying mosquito repellant:
Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
Products with concentrations of up to 30% DEET are generally recommended. Other EPA-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
When protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended 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 permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Always follow the manufacturer's directions.