Keeping the mosquitoes away this summer

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While the recent rain may have helped bring the warm temperatures down, it also created pools of standing water in some areas, which could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Officials urge residents to dump any standing water around their homes or businesses as often as they can. (WJHG/WECP)

Cindy Mulla, with the Beach Mosquito Control District, said, "Basically our mosquito counts have been down the past three weeks due to the mini-drought we've been experiencing. But now after this weekend and receiving all that rain, I'll tell you within 7-10 days those mosquitoes are going to be back buzzing and bugging us."

Mulla says the fallen trees left behind by Hurricane Michael could also become breeding grounds.

"It's going to create more habitats for the mosquitoes. Tree holes, where there's divots in the ground where trees were uprooted," said Mulla, "that's going to create a lot of new habitat areas for the mosquitoes to breed."

Mulla says personal protection starts with you and you should always put on repellent correctly before heading out.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using one with DEET or picaridin.

Mulla said, "When you apply repellent you never want to wear it underneath your clothing. You always want to put it on the exposed parts of your body, your legs or arms. And if you want to put it on your face you want to make sure you put it on your hands, rub your hands together and apply it gently across your face."

And if you have any summer travel plans, keep repellent close by.

"Make sure you have your repellents before you even go abroad, you don't want to bring back any unwanted souvenirs like malaria, dengue, or Zika virus," said Mulla.

Mosquito control officials say our area is under a mosquito-borne illness advisory after they say they found evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, so they urge locals and visitors to stay protected.

Officials also urge residents to dump any standing water around their homes or businesses as often as they can.

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