The Zika Virus – Protect Yourself
The Aedes mosquito is responsible for the Zika Virus outbreak. As of February 4th, Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency in five counties in Florida, the Miami-Dade/Broward area and Santa Rosa county.
The Florida Department of Agriculture predicts the Aedes mosquito will affect all counties in Florida this year and they are recommending increased prevention efforts. While initially it was believed the primary threat involved pregnant women and the fetus, it is now known to affect all adults, children and possibly pets/livestock.
The Aedes mosquito has been around for a long time and is also responsible for transmission of yellow fever, dengue fever, zika virus and the chikungunya virus. 11 cases of the chikungunya virus were reported in Florida in 2014.
The new concern, is the rampant spread of the Zika Virus which has reached epidemic levels in much of South America. The Zika virus is expected to outpace the recent threat of the W. Nile Virus. The Zika virus is also communicable by sexual intercourse.
We are encouraging everyone to take precautions this season. Our breeding season starts in late February, peaks in late summer and typically ends once temperatures hit the 50’s. Certain conditions may allow breeding throughout the year in southern Florida.
- Make sure there is no standing water around your home/office.
- Make sure you look into hollow pockets in trees and treat or remove the water.
- Keep your pool running – don’t allow water to become stagnant.
- If you are no longer using the hot tub, drain it.
- Remove stored tires, tubs, barrels if you have any sitting around.
- Make sure potted plants are well drained.
- Make sure your gutters are cleaned and draining.
- Use personal protection such as sprays/wipes/bracelets. Off Natural has been determined to be the best defense for skin protection. Note: The Aedes mosquito is active during the day.
- Keep lids on garbage cans.
- Remove any piles of leaves
- Make sure doors/screens are secure and weather tight. Caulk/seal any gaps in the walls where water could collect.
- Have your yard/landscape professionally treated. 30 day treatments are recommended.