TAMPA - The Hillsborough County Health Department has issued an advisory after the county's first Eastern Equine Encephalitis death .
The health department wants residents and visitors to make an effort to avoid mosquito bites by following the Florida Department of Health recommendations.
The recommendations include what is referred to as the "5 D's" for prevention from mosquito-borne disease.
- Dusk and Dawn - Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood, typically during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress - Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
- DEET - When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
- Drainage - Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Make sure that pools and spas have continuous circulation and appropriate chlorination to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
- 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 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.
- 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. Again, always follow the manufacturer's directions.
For more information, see the CDC's guidelines on insect repellent or EPA guidelines on insect repellent .
Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Remove standing water in old tires, buckets, drums, or any other containers where rainwater collects.
- Check clogged gutters and flat roofs that may have poor drainage.
- Fill in holes or dips in the ground that collect water. Level the ground around your home so water can run off.
- Do not allow water to collect in garbage cans.
- Empty birdbaths, pet's water bowls, plant pots, and plastic wading pools once or twice a week.
- Stock your ornamental water garden with mosquito-eating fish (minnows, gambusia, goldfish, or guppies).
- Store boats upside down or with a cover.
- Contact your local mosquito control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work.
Other Prevention Measures
- Limit outdoor activity at dusk and dawn during peak mosquito season. Avoid areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.
- If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt.
- Use screens on doors and windows. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.