Marion County Zika Virus Community Alert

Zika Virus in Miami Beach

The rainy season is upon us and if you are a native Central Floridian, you know that means mosquitoes. With the Zika Virus spreading rapidly, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office issued a community alert on their Facebook page urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves.

In their post, they wrote:

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is urging residents to protect themselves against mosquito-borne illnesses as the Florida rainy season gets underway.
“Although Zika is a serious illness that is getting a lot of attention, we should all take precautions to protect ourselves from the diseases mosquitoes can carry,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Health Officer Erin Hess. “Cover yourself to keep mosquitoes from biting, and drain water from around your home to stop mosquitoes from breeding.”
The department is running educational videos in Marion County movie theaters and has billboards posted around the county to help get the “drain and cover” message out.
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying. Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected. Discard old tires and other items that aren’t being used. Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week. Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water. Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover skin with clothing or repellent. Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old. Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.


Although the “Cover and Drain” campaign is a great way to start, there are many other ways you can protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. We went ahead and compiled a list of ten natural ways to repel mosquitos.

10 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes and Protect Yourself from the Zika Virus

  1. Lavender Ribbons 

    Lavender is a wonderful scent. But to mosquitoes, it is a very good natural repellent. By applying a couple of drops of lavender oil to a ribbon and hanging it around your windows and doors, you can keep mosquitoes from coming into your home. So go ahead and call up your friend on Facebook that keeps trying to sell you their essential oils and stock up!

  2. Skin So Soft

    While you’re calling your essential oils friend, you might also want to call your favorite Avon representative. Their exclusive product, Skin So Soft, is a great way to keep those pesky insects from biting you. Just rub some on your bare skin and don’t worry about any harsh chemicals normally found in standard bug repellents.

  3. Mosquito Repellent Plants

    There is a very large variety of plants out there that possess power mosquito repellent qualities. Some of the top ones are feverfew, citronella, catnip, and lavender. Plant these in a small flower bed around your home especially under windows or around your doors to not only ward off bugs but also give your home a great look! Check out some other mosquito repelling plants at Natural Living Ideas.

  4. Garlic

    Going out for dinner? Double up on the garlic! When  you consume garlic, the oil from the garlic is released through your pores and works as a great repellent against many insects. Just don’t overdo it or insects won’t be the only thing you repel.

  5. Homemade Citronella Candles

    Probably one of the most effective mosquito repellents, Citronella oil is a great all natural way to make your own repellent candles. Strategically place the candles around your patio and by doors and windows and let them do the rest of the work. Learn how to make your own candles at

  6. Simple Lavender Body Oil

    What is better than staying bug-bite-free? Having silky smooth skin of course! Using your stockpile of lavender oil you just stocked up on, mix 30 drops of it with two tablespoons of olive oil and rub it on any exposed skin. Now you will have smooth skin, no bites and smell great!

  7. Rosemary

    Let’s face it, we are Floridians, and nothing is going to stop us from our barbecue nights with our friends. Not even mosquitoes.  Next time you fire up the barbie, just toss a few stalks of fresh rosemary right on the charcoal. Not only will you add great flavor, but those mosquitoes just can’t stand the aroma!

  8. Mosquito Repellant Drink

    We have all heard of the wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar, right? Well, here is one of them. Add one or two tablespoons of the magical vinegar to a pint of water and drink up! It might be a little bitter to some taste buds, but you can use a little honey to sweeten it up.

  9. Neem Oil

    Neem oil is a natural insecticide. While mainly used on plants to keep bugs away, it also works great on people! Go ahead and order some here.

  10. Homemade Mosquito Repelling Incense

    Feeling a little more crafty? Natural Living Ideas gives us another useful article on how to make your own mosquito-repelling incense. Check out their full step by step article here.

Now you are ready for the rainy season! Don’t keep this information to yourself, though! Click the share buttons below to tell your friends too! If you have other remedies or recommendations, feel free to toss them in the comments below as well.