Mosquito Borne Diseases: Female mosquitoes can transmit diseases when they bite. In Florida, mosquitoes can transmit:
In the past, mosquitoes were responsible for epidemics of malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever in Florida. These diseases have been eliminated from the state thanks, in part, to organized mosquito control programs. Mosquitoes DO NOT carry AIDS, hepatitis or leukemia.
Children are often very allergic to mosquito bites and infected mosquito bites can lead to impetigo, a painful bacterial skin infection. Protect your children with a repellent containing 10-3096 DEET (usually listed on the repellent container as N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) if they are exposed to mosquitoes. Higher concentrations of DEET may cause irritation. READ THE LABEL before using any repellent and follow all instructions as given. More is not better!
Mosquitoes carry dog heartworm disease which can be fatal to your pet. See your veterinarian for advice on preventing or treating this very common disease. Remember to change pet water regularly to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Mosquitoes carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a highly fatal disease of emus and horses of all breeds. Each year several horses and numerous emus in the panhandle die of EEE. There are highly effective vaccines for EEE and horse and bird owners should have their animals vaccinated annually. For more information, contact your veterinarian.
Common breeding sites for mosquitoes are flowers with axils, such as bromeliads, and flower pot dishes that do not drain. Water must be flushed from these saucers every few days to prevent mosquito breeding. People who collect rain water for flowers should also put a screen over the container to prevent mosquitoes from depositing eggs in the water. Enjoy your plants without contributing to the neighborhood mosquito problem.