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Mosquito Season: How to battle the bugs

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 19:37:04-04

FROSTPROOF, Fla. -- The biting and incessant itching is not in your mind, mosquitoes are in full force across the Tampa Bay area.

While there aren’t any more bugs around this year than last, mosquito control departments in each county say they are receiving a large number of calls to come out and spray.

For moms like Angelique Cangiano, she says she likes to try home remedies to combat the bugs at home.

From switching on a fan full blast, to all-natural blends, Cangiano says her best bet to keep her kids bug bite free is staying indoors.

“Only the hottest parts of the day and it sucks because he’s only a year old,” Cangiano says her little boy, Luke, reacts severely to bug bites.

“He gets these huge welts and there are like bubbles on the skin, It’s hot, red and puffy,” She said.

The Polk County mother does resort to the technique of eliminating breeding grounds, one expert said it can be the most effective.

“We don’t let any kind of standing water happen around the house. Any kind of buckets we flip them upside down,” She said that includes pet dishes, potted plants with plates underneath and even mopping up puddles.

ABC Action News also spoke with Mosquito Shield in Polk County. Scott Rodgers tells us just a cap full of water can be enough for hundreds of mosquitoes to populate.

So dumping out kids’ toys or checking your gutters for standing water may help the amount of mosquitoes in your yard.

“If they walk around their yard and they look for a quarter size of water they eliminated that will help them reduce the population,” Rodgers said.

According to Mosquito Shield, checking your screens for holes and making sure they are tucked in can be very helpful as well.

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County recommends the following for battling the bugs:

“The Polk County Health Department and Polk County Mosquito Control advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include the “5 D’s and 1 S” for prevention:

• Dusk and Dawn — Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most actively biting. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
• Dress — Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
• 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. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts suggest that it is acceptable to apply repellent with low concentrations of DEET to infants over 2 months old. It is NOT recommended to use on children younger than 2 months old. Infants should be kept indoors, or mosquito netting should be used over carriers, when mosquitoes are present. Always read the manufacturer’s directions carefully before you put on a repellent.
• Drainage — Check your home to rid it of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
• Screens — Make sure that windows remain closed at night, or are sealed completely by screens.
Tips for Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
• Eliminating breeding sites is one key to prevention.
• Clean out eaves, troughs, and gutters.
• Remove old tires or drill drain holes in those used in playgrounds.
• Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
• Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
• Cover rain barrels with screen.
• Check tarps that may collect water on boats or other equipment.
• Pump out bilges on boats.
• Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal 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.”

If all else fails, reach out to your county’s mosquito control department.

Paso County Mosquito Control:
Phone: (727) 376-4568

Hillsborough Mosquito Control:
Phone: (813) 635-5400

Pinellas Mosquito Control:
Phone: (727) 464-7503

Polk County Mosquito Control:
Phone: (863) 534-7377

Sarasota Mosquito Control:
Phone: (941) 861-5000

Hernando Mosquito Control:
Phone: (352) 540-6552