Health department issues reminder about increase in mosquito activity

The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County and Sumter County Mosquito Control are reminding residents that the summer months typically bring an increase in mosquito activity. Taking personal safety measures can help you and your pets avoid irritating mosquito bites and prevent mosquito-borne infectious diseases.

Tips on Repellent Use

Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.

Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-methane-diol, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.

Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.

In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months 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.

If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.