Mosquitoes are an all too familiar summer nuisance. They are not only annoying, but they can be transmitters of the West Nile Virus, encephalitis, malaria, and yellow fever to humans, and heart worm to pets. You can take simple, positive steps to reduce this menace right at home, since many generations of mosquitoes can breed right in your own yard.

Avoid Standing Water
Standing water means you could be raising mosquitoes! Adult flying mosquitoes often rest in tall grass and shrubbery, but they cannot develop there. All mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. Mosquitoes also are not known to travel long distances from their water source.

Keep Mosquito Egg-Laying Areas Clean
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water where they hatch in just a day or two. They can do this in water that has been standing for as little as four days. Places mosquitoes may lay their eggs are in old tires, tin cans, or other water-holding containers including birdbaths, wading and small swimming pools, ornamental ponds, clogged gutters, flowerpots or the drip plates beneath them, cups, glasses, drink cans, etc. The eggs may remain unhatched for weeks or even months until they are covered with water!

As a controlling method, residents should check their premises for standing water every two or four days and after any rainfall event, and empty any containers of stagnant water. This includes eliminating puddles of water on their property.

Stay Indoors
To reduce the risk of being bitten, if possible, avoid being outdoors in the early morning or in the evening. If you must go out, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks, and apply EPA and CDC DEET, following the instructions on the label. Check with your pediatrician before using a repellent containing DEET on small children. Also, keep windows and doors closed or covered with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.

Yard & Home Checklist

  • Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water holding containers.
  • Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store it indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for while on vacation.
  • Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
  • Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least every other day.