Simple steps around the home and yard can help protect you from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika virus.
- Avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite. Evenings and mornings have the most mosquito activity.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Pants legs should be tucked into shoes or socks, and collars should be buttoned.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
- Use an insect repellent such as DEET, or one which contains another EPA-registered ingredient such as picaridin, permethrin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The effectiveness of different ingredients varies, so choose one that is right for your activity and mosquito conditions.
Protecting Your Home
You can protect your family from biting mosquitoes by reducing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding in or near your property:
- Repair failed septic systems.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
- Dispose of old tires, cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other unused containers that can hold water.
- Change the water at least once per week in bird baths, wading pools and other water containers on your property.
- Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
- Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
- Repair leaky water pipes and outside faucets.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools even if they are not being used.
- Keep drains, ditches, and culverts free of grass clippings, weeds, and trash so water will drain properly.