The Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory issued for Hillsborough County remains in effect. There has been an increase in West Nile virus activity observed in sentinel chickens in Hillsborough County. The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (DOH-Hillsborough) reminds the public to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

Hillsborough County, Florida Image/David Benbennick

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to “Drain and Cover”:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER skin with clothing or repellent.

  • Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.