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Mosquito Control Tips

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 heartworm 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.

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.

Some 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. Other mosquitoes may lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans, or other water-holding containers including bird baths, 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 such, residents should check their premises for standing water every two to four days and after any rainfall event and empty any containers of stagnant water. This includes eliminating puddles of water on their property.

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 the EPA and CDC advise the use of a mosquito repellant that contains the chemical N-N-diethy-meta-toluamide or DEET, following the instructions on the label. Check with your pediatrician before using a repellant containing DEET on small children. Also, keep windows and doors closed or covered with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.

Check out this list for helpful ideas:

  • 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 pool 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 once a week
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there
For more information on mosquito control and the West Nile Virus, check out the following web site:

Centers for Disease Control
* http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm