AFTER IRMA: Hillsborough County's standing water is a 'breeding ground' for mosquitoes

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - Hurricane Irma's water-driven debris scattered across the county means additional breeding grounds for mosquitoes. 

Whether it's a Styrofoam cup, a torn plastic tarp, or a bucket of water next to a resident's house, the water can allow mosquitoes to breed by the thousands. It's important to make sure the water is drained, disposed of, or covered up to prevent them from spreading. 

While there are plenty of ways to deal with mosquito bites, the easiest way to prevent them from biting is to stop them from breeding in the first place. 

The easiest way to stop them from breeding is by depriving the larvae of standing water where they can grow. 

Here are some tips to follow:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and insect repellent while you're out cleaning up your yard.
  • Pick up and drain water from overturned garbage cans and flower pots, as well as pool covers, coolers, toys, buckets, watering cans, kiddie pools, and any other containers where rainwater collected.
  • Clean out rain gutters and downspouts, especially those that are clogged with storm debris.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that may collect water.
  • Check and correct chlorination levels in pools which received more rainwater during Irma.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls.

The Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Unit has more tips on preventing or reducing mosquitoes which can be found here.

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