The Orange County Health Department is helping in the fight against mosquitoes and mosquito born-illnesses by giving away mosquito dunks at any of its three locations.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Daniel Kashdan spoke on the importance of mosquito prevention.

“The reason we need to be taking these steps against mosquito and tick bites is because there are a lot of mosquito born illnesses like Zika, Chikingunya and the West Nile virus that the mosquitoes spread,” said Kashdan.

A mosquito dunk is put in standing water to kill larvae before they mature into biting adults without harming humans or other animals.

The Health Department has also placed boxes at the entrances of seven county parks containing insect repellent as part of its “Spray Before You Play” initiative.

“We want to get the word out that when you’re out there playing to cover up, use repellent, and fight the bite with our campaign,” said Kashdan.

Kashdan noted that ticks could be more of a problem this summer than in previous years as well.

“We are anticipating a higher prevalence of mosquitoes and ticks,” said Kashdan. “We had a very mild winter and we usually rely on a long cold period to keep the population at bay.”

For more information on mosquito and tick preparedness visit the Orange County Health Department’s Fight the Bite webpage here.