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Measures to Combat Mosquitos – Reduce Their Spread with “Drain and Cover”

By Kent Donahue

May 24, 2017

To protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes, the Florida Department of Health-Orange County encourages the public to take precautions when out and about.     

The following are some steps that can be taken to help prevent mosquito breeding and bites that can spread illnesses like Zika or dengue fever.  The department urges the public to “Drain and Cover.”

DRAIN standing water:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinklers or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances that are not being used. 
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.   

COVER your skin with:

  • Clothing – If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long sleeves, and long pants.
  • Repellent - Apply insect repellent to bare skin and clothing.  Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. 
  • Use netting to protect children younger than 2 months.   

COVER doors and windows with screen:

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.

Kids can learn about mosquito bite prevention and help in the fight against mosquito-borne illnesses through the department’s Spill the Water campaign. Visit to educate Florida kids on the dangers of mosquito-borne illnesses, teach them to spill standing water around their home this summer and cover up their skin with clothing and repellent before they head outside to play.