- All mosquitos breed in water; in fact, they spend 3/4 of their life cycle in standing water.
- Female mosquitos can lay 50 to 400 eggs in rafts on the water, singly on the side of a container, or in the dirt along with flood-prone areas like ditches.
- Water temperature and organic matter will allow eggs to hatch in as few as 24 hours.
- Mosquito larvae breathe air through an air tube or siphon and need calm water to develop.
- Adult mosquitos can emerge in as few as 3 days. Adults rest during the day, usually in buildings, plants, and moist grass.
- Female mosquitos mostly bite animals and occasionally bite humans. The blood meal is for egg development. Most mosquitos are only active at dusk, dawn, and night.
- Mosquitos must have water to complete their life cycle. Stop their life cycle by draining standing water on your property.
- Drain or fill in low places in your yard.
- Keep gutters, culverts, and drain ditches free of grass and debris.
- Adult mosquitos rest during the day. Keep grass short and shrubbery trimmed so adult mosquitos will not hide there.
- Use screens on windows and doors. Repair any holes in screens to keep mosquitos outside.
- Cover cribs, strollers, and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
- Remember the 4 Ds of Mosquito Protection.
- Water can collect in many places. Keep the following free of standing water to prevent mosquitos:
- Flower Pots
- Kiddie Pools
- Kids' Toys
View our gallery of places water can collect.
The 4 D's of Mosquito Protection
Using Insect Repellent
- Always follow all label instructions
- Reapply every few hours, depending on the product and strength
- Do not apply repellent onto a child's hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin
- Spray repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child's face
- Do not use on children under 2 months of age
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first, and insect repellent second
- Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered repellent
- Active Ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Bayrepel, Icaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), IR3535
- Do not use permethrin directly on the skin
- Purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear
- Permethrin-treated clothes will protect you after multiple washings
- Use permethrin to treat clothing
- Follow product instructions when treating clothing yourself
The EPA has not evaluated natural repellents, but they may also be useful:
- Cedar Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Geranium Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Soybean Oil
Mosquitos Need Water to Breed
Eliminate standing water from:
- Bottles, barrels, buckets, etc
- Canoes and other boats
- Children's toys
- Leaky outdoor faucets
- Low areas in your yard
- Overturned garbage can lids
- Recycling containers
- Swimming pool covers
- Tree holes
Keep other water sources clean:
- Bird baths
- Pet water dishes
- Roof gutters
- Swimming pools
- Keep pools clean and circulating year round
Even the smallest of containers that collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitos.
Wear Proper Clothing
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing:
- Clothing that is treated with permethrin
- Clothing treated with permethrin can protect after multiple washes
- Light-colored clothing
- Many mosquitos are attracted to dark clothing
- Long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Loose-fitting clothing
- Many mosquitos can bite through tight-fitting clothing
Dress your children to protect them, or use mosquito netting to cover cribs, strollers, and baby carriers.
Peak Times for Mosquitos
If you have activities planned during dusk and dawn, protect yourself and your family accordingly:
- Use mosquito repellent
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
Try to plan activities later in the day to avoid mosquitos.