What You Can Do
- DRESS in light-colored long sleeves and pants when outside to cover skin.
- DRAIN standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes typically breed in spots such as old tires, flower pots, rain gutters and bird baths.
- DEFEND yourself. Limit outdoor activity and apply repellent before going outside. DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved ingredient to look for in your insect repellent that will help increase protection. Organic alternatives include orange spray, eucalyptus or citronella. Follow label instructions and always wear repellent when outdoors.
Take Action Around Your Home
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS Opens a New Window. ) suggests taking the following steps around your home to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding:
- Empty or rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water weekly.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
- Remove standing water from flat surfaces like flat roofs.
- Change water in pet dishes daily.
- Cover trash containers.
- Change water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week. Keep fountains running to keep water moving.
- Water lawns and gardens carefully; prevent water from standing for several days.
- Add Western Mosquitofish to ornamental ponds.
- Dump out water that collects in outdoor toys.
- Maintain swimming pools and keep them running up to 8 hours a day.
- Repair leaks around your home and yard that may cause standing water.
- Treat front and back door areas of homes with residual insecticides.
- Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.
- Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly.
- Apply pesticide to vegetation around the home if problems persist.
- Female mosquitoes can lay 100-300 eggs at a time and up to 3,000 eggs in their lifetime.
- Some species can survive dry conditions for up to 8 months. When water covers the egg, they hatch and become adults in about a week.
- Mosquitoes can breed in as little as 1/2 inch of standing water, or as small as a bottle cap.
- Mosquitoes take as few as 4 days to develop into adults.
- Male mosquitoes live 7-10 days and females can live up to 30 days (some species even longer).
For information on how to report standing water, see our Mosquito Prevention Flyer.
Learn more about mosquitoes from our mosquito chart Opens a New Window. which explains species-specific information and the types of illness associated with certain mosquitoes. It also includes information on mosquito behaviors, transmission cycle, mosquito-borne illness symptoms and other important things to know.