Officials in Pinellas County want you to be prepared to keep mosquito-borne diseases from spreading.
This week is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, and several Bay Area counties are treating known breeding areas.
Here are other simple steps citizens can take to help control mosquito populations:
• Empty water from any item that can hold water. Examples: flower pots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires and buckets.
• 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 condition drip areas, around septic takes and heat pumps.
• Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage and prevent future puddling.
Mosquito bites can irritate skin and potentially spread disease. Citizens are urged to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by wearing mosquito repellent – products containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants.