Tips on mosquito protection
Volusia County Mosquito Control and the Department of Health advise the public to follow the "5 D's" for prevention:
- Dusk and Dawn -- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. Dusk and dawn are prime time for mosquito activity!
- Dress -- When temperatures allow, wear clothing that covers your skin. Clothing with mosquito repellant impregnated materials may be a consideration, as may loose-fitting net-style clothing.
DEET -- N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) remains the standard by which all other repellants are judged. It is effective against mosquitoes, biting flies, chiggers, fleas and ticks. The American Academy of Pediatrics says all family members over 2 months can use DEET-based repellents with up to 30 percent concentration with confidence.
Most products start out at a concentration of 5 percent (lasts 90 minutes or so) and range up to 100 percent (for approximately 10 hours of protection from bites). Pick one that matches your activity. For an outdoor family barbecue in the evenings, a 10 percent product is fine. It will help protect from bites for nearly two hours. products are available in aerosols, pump sprays, lotions, creams and even towelettes.
- Drainage -- Check your home to eliminate or reduce standing water that can produce mosquitoes. Mosquitoes produced in your back yard or on your patio don't necessarily stay in your yard -- they can affect your neighbor as well. Whenever possible, "tip and toss" nonessential water-holding containers.
Tips on eliminating mosquito breeding sites:
- Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
- 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 feeding dishes at least once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.