PINELLAS COUNTY — Mosquitoes tend to be the most active in the rainy summer season and authorities say to help prevent the nuisance from breeding residents should start with prevention methods in their own backyard. Mosquitoes are capable of transmitting a variety of diseases to humans and animals.
Pinellas County Mosquito Control technicians reported that they are aggressively treating known breeding areas by ground and by air, as well as responding to calls from residents.
Many of the residential properties that have been inspected by technicians have been found to be breeding grounds for the pesky insects because of significant amounts of standing water – the ideal breeding condition. Mosquitoes need only a quarter to half inch of standing water for their larvae to survive.
This month, Pinellas County officials will mark National Mosquito Control Awareness Month (June) by asking all residents to do their part to reduce the mosquito population.
County officials offer these simple suggestions:
• Empty water from flower pots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires and buckets; any item that can hold water.
• Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
• Flush ornamental bromeliads or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.
• Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water.
• Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly.
• Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
• Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
• Cover rain barrels with screening.
• Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas, around septic tanks and heat pumps.
• Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage and prevent future puddling.
Protect your skin from mosquito bites when outdoors; wear mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus) or long-sleeves and pants. The threat of virus, although minimal, is present throughout the year, and precautions should be taken during outdoor activities.
By taking these simple preventative measures, residents can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in the county and minimize mosquito-borne diseases.
A video about mosquito control may be viewed at www.youtube.com/pcctv1. For information on Pinellas County services and programs, visit www.pinellascounty.org,