Mosquito Control launches new resource tool
Traditionally, Pinellas County Mosquito Control receives its first high volume of service calls each year following the Memorial Day holiday weekend, as residents spend time outdoors and seasonal rains begin in the area.
In an effort to educate residents and ensure public health and safety, officials from Pinellas County Mosquito Control and Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County held a media event today to discuss ongoing mosquito prevention efforts and share a new online tool that identifies local mosquito populations and offers valuable prevention tips.
The new, bilingual tool provides easy navigation for residents to access mosquito prevention tips, local resources and view an interactive map of mosquito hot spots in the area. The tool is available online at www.pinellascounty.org/mosquito.
Mosquito Control is encouraging citizens to do their part to reduce the mosquito population with some simple steps:
- Empty water from any item that can hold water (examples: flower pots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires and buckets).
- Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
- Flush ornamental bromeliads or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.
- Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water.
- Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly.
- Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
- Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
- Cover rain barrels with screening.
- Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas, around septic tanks and heat pumps.
- Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage and prevent future puddling.
Technicians note that many local homes have items or areas that contain standing water – ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes – contribute to the mosquito problem. Mosquito larvae only need a fraction of an inch of standing water to survive.
Residents are urged to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by wearing mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus) and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants. These simple preventative measures can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in Pinellas County and minimize mosquito-borne diseases.
In 2016, Mosquito Control received over 4,500 service requests from Pinellas County residents and businesses. To request mosquito controls service, please call (727) 464-7503 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/reportanissue