Nassau County announced today that affected areas of the county will begin receiving aerial spraying for mosquitos.
Since widespread mosquito control requires the controlled use of insecticides, all state and federal approval steps are designed to make sure significant action is taken and that the public as well as domestic and wild animals are protected.
Several state and federal agencies must be involved to assure all public health interests are considered. State agencies include the Florida Department of Health, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Federal agencies include FEMA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
By law, insecticide formulations must be among those approved and registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in urban areas for mosquito control. Mosquito abatement must comply with all federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations concerning vector control.
The take personal protective actions, the Florida Department of Health recommends that you “Drain and Cover”:
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around home or business.
- • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, 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 swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER the skin to protect from mosquito bites and from the diseases mosquitoes carry.
- • CLOTHING – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
• REPELLENT – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
• Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
• Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
• COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
• Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Tips on Repellent Use
- • Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
• Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. Other EPA-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 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.
• In 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.
• Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
• If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
For questions, please contact Emergency Management at 904-548-4980. To receive more information on mosquito control, you can contact the Florida DACS Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control at 850-617-7997 or by checking the website at: www.flaes.org/aes-ent/index.html and www.flaes.org/pesticide.