Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites and Transmission of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Public participation is an important component of any successful mosquito management program and can make a significant difference in local mosquito populations. Remember, almost any water that stands for more than 5 days has the potential to produce mosquitoes, and it takes very little water to produce a large number of these pests. If each person does everything they can to protect themselves and their families, and eliminate standing water, it can help reduce the mosquito problem for everyone.
VDCI encourages people to take the below actions to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes and reduce larval mosquito habitat on their property.
- Check window and door screens to ensure they are in good condition and seal tightly.
- Wear light colored clothing, plus long sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
- Use repellents on skin and clothing (always follow product label directions for use).
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Encourage friends, family, and neighbors to follow these recommendations also.
- Dispose of old tires, cans, buckets, bottles, or any other water holding containers.
- Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
- Fill in, or drain, low spots (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard where water collects.
- Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly.
- Cover trash and recycling containers to keep out rainwater.
- Canoes and Boats: Store small boats upside down and cover large boats tightly.
- Make sure that coverings on boats, pools, compost piles, etc. are pulled tight and sloped.
- Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles.
- Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
- Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for while away from the home.
- Fill in tree holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
- Change the water in pet bowls, birdbaths, plant pots or drip trays at least once per week.
- Keep grass cut and shrubbery trimmed near the house where adult mosquitoes may rest.
- Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing more than five days.
- Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
- Drill holes in the bottom of tire swings to allow any water to drain.
- Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious fish species such as minnows.
Resources to Learn More About Personal Repellents
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Skin-Applied Repellent Ingredients
- Learn More About DEET
- Find the Insect Repellent That is Right for You
National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG)
VDCI is a company built on the foundations of public health, ethics, professionalism, and technical expertise. We establish vector management programs that are based on an understanding of the underlying vector's ecology and rooted in the current science of environmentally sound control measures.