What Services are available?
Throughout the year, the Health Department works closely with Polk County Mosquito Control to monitor the presence of mosquitoes that can spread diseases.
The Health Department’s Environmental Health Division and Disease Control Program monitors illnesses that are caused by viruses associated with mosquito bites. These illnesses include West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE).
The Polk County Health Department and Polk County Mosquito Control advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include the “5 D’s and 1 S” for prevention:
- Dusk and Dawn — Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most actively biting. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress — Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- DEET — When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) are recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts suggest that it is acceptable to apply repellent with low concentrations of DEET to infants over 2 months old. It is NOT recommended to use on children younger than 2 months old. Infants should be kept indoors, or mosquito netting should be used over carriers, when mosquitoes are present. Always read the manufacturer’s directions carefully before you put on a repellent.
- Drainage — Check your home to rid it of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
- Screens — Make sure that windows remain closed at night, or are sealed completely by screens.
Tips for Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Eliminating breeding sites is one key to prevention.
- Clean out eaves, troughs, and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill drain holes in those used in playgrounds.
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
- Cover rain barrels with screen.
- Check tarps that may collect water on boats or other equipment.
- Pump out bilges on boats.
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
When & Where?
Environmental Health Office
2090 E. Clower StreetBartow, FL 33830
Environmental Health Phone: (863) 519-8330
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday