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Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory Issued for Hillsborough County

By Kevin Watler, Public Information Officer

November 10, 2020

Hillsborough County, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (DOH-Hillsborough) today advised residents there has been an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Hillsborough County. A human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed and there is a heightened concern additional residents may become ill.

Hillsborough County Mosquito Control and DOH-Hillsborough continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

DOH-Hillsborough reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

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, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
  • Discard old tires, bottles, pots, broken appliances and other items not being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that do not accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

Download these infographics for more information: Mosquitoes- Keep Them Outside and Stop Them From Breeding and Protect Your Home From Mosquitoes.

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, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
  • Check and repair screens on doors and windows. Keep them closed and use air conditioning when possible.
  • Make sure window screens are in good repair to reduce the chance of mosquitoes indoors.

Download the Mosquito Bite Protection in Florida infographic.

Tips on Repellent Use

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, boots or sturdy shoes, and a head covering. Ticks will be more visible if clothing is light-colored.
  • Apply insect repellent that contains DEET (10-30%), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5%. Do not apply permethrin directly to skin. Some sports clothing and gear come pretreated with permethrin.
  • Walk in the center of trails so grass, shrubs, and weeds do not brush against you.
  • Check for and remove ticks from your clothing, body, hair, and pets when you have been outside.
  • Washing clothing in hot water or tumbling dry clothing in the dryer for at least 10 minutes set at high heat will kill ticks.
  • Shower soon after being in tick habitat.
  • If a tick is found on the skin it is important to safely remove the tick as soon as possible.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about tick prevention products for your pets.
  • Keep grass, shrubs and trees close to your residence trimmed.
For more information on what repellent is right for you, consider using the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on preventing tick bites.

More Tips on Using Repellant

  • For both mosquitoes and ticks, use insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on exposed skin and clothing. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs.
  • Follow instructions on the product label, especially if you’re applying it to children.
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children and do not use repellents with DEET on babies younger than 2 months or oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on the safe use of repellant.

The Department continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s site. For more information, visit DOH’s website at or contact your county health department.

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About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.