Bradford County officials issue warning ahead of mosquito season

Officials remind residents about using repellant, dress appropriately

Author: Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Published On: May 31 2013 09:03:08 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 01 2013 12:02:24 AM EDT
BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. -

If you don't remember, it's that time of year. And if you don't remember in the last few years, mosquitoes have brought with them a number of cases of West Nile Virus.

Bradford County officials are now trying to get out the annual reminder of using repellant with a high concentration of DEET and getting rid of all that standing water.

"Dress appropriately. Long sleeves, long pants when you're going to be outside during early morning hours or evening," said Michael Heeder with Bradford County Emergency Management. "Drainage, dump out standing water that could be breeding ground for mosquitoes."

In fact, Bradford County was one of many hit hard in last year's storm season by tropical storms Debbie and Beryl.

"It was so bad, in fact, that we were able to get state assistance for aerial spraying of mosquitoes," said Heeder. "Especially in those less than urban areas, that is unusual for us because generally speaking, Bradford County is able to control mosquito population through ground spraying."

Another warning that's being issued is how these bugs can hurt your animals. Dogs can get heart worms and horses can get equine encephalitis.

These are just a couple things animal owners need to prepare for with vaccinations, according to Tim DeValerio, with the Bradford County Extension Service.

"A vaccine will protect them, however you need to get boosters and pay attention with your veterinarian," said DeValerio. "A lot of times people can buy vaccines over counter, but there can be problems with expiration date. So, we recommend using a veterinarian to ensure protection."