What You Can Do
- DRESS in light-colored long sleeves and pants when outside to keep skin covered. For extra protection, spray clothing with repellent.
- DRAIN standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Check for water in areas such as old tires, flower pots, rain gutters and bird baths. Keep swimming pools treated and circulated, and rain gutters unclogged. These are common mosquito breeding sites.
- DEFEND yourself. Limit outdoor activity and apply repellent before going outside. DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent to help increase protection. This ingredient is known to provide defense against mosquitoes and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other alternatives include organic products such as orange spray, eucalyptus or citronella. Follow label instructions and always wear repellent when outdoors.
Take Action Around Your Home
Department of State Health Services (DSHS) suggests the following steps you can take in and around your home to help reduce potential mosquito breeding habitats:
- At least weekly, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
- Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs.
- Change water in pet dishes daily.
- Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly.
- Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times a week.
- Maintain backyard pools or hot tubs.
- Cover trash containers.
- Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days.
- Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.
- Treat front and back door areas of homes with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are abundant nearby.
- If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around the home.
A quick reference has been created which explain species-specific information and the types of illness associated with certain mosquitoes. The mosquito chart also includes informative details such as mosquito behaviors, transmission cycle, symptoms, and other important things to know.