Fall is typically an active time for mosquito-borne disease activity in Manatee County. As we move toward winter, the sun sets earlier. Shorter days, combined with Daylight Savings time, means evening walks and outdoor exercise now occur during dusk, which is peak activity time for mosquitos.
Mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases, such as Chikungunya, West Nile Virus, and Dengue Fever. These diseases are transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Although there have been no reports of humans contracting these diseases yet this year in Manatee County, officials are reporting an increase in mosquitos testing positive during September and October of 2014.
This increase in mosquito disease activity means residents and visitors are at an increased risk.
As such, the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County reminds everyone to protect themselves by following the 5 D’s:
- Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors during the dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
- 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, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are other repellent options. If additional protection is necessary, a permethrin repellent can be applied directly to your clothing. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.