Simple steps around the home and yard can help protect you from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika virus.
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are more prevalent: shady or overgrown outdoor areas, and places where the ground stays moist or wet.
- Avoid mosquito-prone areas, or use extra protection, during evenings and mornings, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to avoid mosquito bites. Clothing should be made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or indoors where mosquitoes may be present.
- Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or 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.