Mosquito larvae or "wrigglers" must live in still water for five or more days to complete their growth before changing into adult biting mosquitoes capable of transmitting disease. Often, the number of mosquitoes in an area can be reduced by removing sources of standing water around residences. For example, hundreds of mosquitoes can come from a single discarded tire. Local agencies should inform the public how to prevent mosquito production around residences and to prevent mosquito bites:
1. Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers.
2. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard.
3. Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
4. Keep roof gutters free of leaves and other debris.
5. Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
6. Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
7. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.
8. Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season.
9. Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
10. Change the water in birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
11. Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
12. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
13. Make sure ornamental ponds have fish that will eat mosquito larvae.
14. Repair window screens.
15. When outdoors in the evening or when mosquitoes are biting, use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites (proper use of insect repellent and appropriate clothing). See the Department's Web site for specific personal protection recommendations.
Mosquito Control References
West Nile Virus Web Site
Prepared News Release about Mosquito Prevention (PDF file)
Questions and Answers about Mosquito Prevention for People, Property and Pets