West Nile Virus Home > Mosquito Control

Chemical and nonchemical methods are used for controlling mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry. Public activities -- such as surveillance and using products to kill mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes -- are important parts of this process; however, there are also several things you can do at home to keep mosquitoes at bay.

An Introduction to Mosquito Control

Controlling mosquitoes, and exposure to the diseases they may carry, is something that can be achieved by chemical and nonchemical methods. Public activities -- such as surveillance and using products to kill mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes -- are one part of mosquito control. Activities in and around the home are also important.

Home Prevention Strategies

Mosquito control begins at home. Strategies for around the home include:
  • Removing their habitat (where they live and breed). Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than four days.
  • Eliminating standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
  • Emptying and changing the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
  • Draining (or filling with dirt) temporary pools of water.
  • Keeping swimming pool water treated and circulating.
  • Ensuring window and door screens are "bug-tight."
  • Replacing outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however.
  • Wearing headnets, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants if venturing into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes or wooded areas.
  • Using mosquito repellents when necessary, always following label instructions.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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