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Do-It-Yourself Solutions for Mosquito Control Aroud the Home

Take a look at the graphic below. There are so many opportunities for common yard items to hold water and create a mosquito problem. Read below to learn how to reduce mosquito breeding sources around your home.

Graphic of breeding sources: Tires, wheelbarrows, pots, a pond, kids toys, wagon, trash cans and so on

The best method to reduce breeding on your property is to limit the number of potential sources. Inspect around and inside your home for potential breeding sources. If standing water is found, remove the source. If the source is not removed, you must check weekly for standing water to prevent mosquito breeding. Remember to look for mosquito sources every week and after rain events.

Common Household Items

May contain: plant
  • Any container capable of holding at least a teaspoon of water
    Throw away, turn over, empty once a week or drill holes in the bottom.
  • Buckets, watering cans, drinking glasses, cups, bottle caps, or trash that can hold water
    Store inside or turn over. If trash, throw away.
  • Old Tires
    Dispose of at your local recycling facility. If used for playground equipment, drill holes for water to drain out. If on ground, ensure holes are not blocked by debris.
  • Pet Water Bowls
    Scrub and rinse out once a week.
  • Tarps, Plastic Covers, Flexible Sandbox Covers
    Drain water trapped in folds and arrange so water runs off.
  • Potted Plant Saucers
    Empty saucers or flush out with garden hose once a week. Remove saucers from under plants. Place fine aquarium gravel in saucers to create less appealing mosquito habitat.
  • Garbage Cans, Barrels, Recycling Bins
    Keep cans covered with lid or drill holes in bottom to allow draining. If collecting rain water, cover any entry points with fine mesh screen.
  • Rain Barrels
    Cover rain barrel with insect screen and tightly secure. Install small pieces of screen over any other holes such as overflow valves or connection points, and secure.  If rain barrel comes with a screw top, place the square mesh between the rain barrel and the lid and screw it in place. Try to use the collected water first and empty barrels completely between rain events.

Buildings/Structures

May contain: indoors
  • Dripping Outdoor Faucets and Window Air Conditioners
    If there is puddling, repair faucet. Place rocks under window air conditioner to ensure water runs off or fill hole with dirt to prevent puddling.
  • Drainage Ditch, Culvert, or Low Areas Clogged by Grass or Weeds
    Remove grass and weed clippings so water can flow and/or drain freely. 
  • Gutters, including “Covered” Types
    Clean regularly so water runs freely.
  • Hollow Fence Posts Without Caps
    Put caps on open chain link or plastic fence posts.
  • Old Playground Equipment
    Remove/dispose of. If it must be stored, put under cover. Be sure water drains off.
  • Under Decks/Porches: Stored Items, Depressions in Dirt, Plastic Ground Linings
    Fill in holes/depressions. Remove or turn over any stored items that can hold water. Ensure plastic linings are not pooling water or use landscape cloth that allows water to pass through.

Backyard/Garden

May contain: water, fountain, and drinking fountain
  • Base of Patio Umbrellas and Portable Basketball Stand
    Fill with sand or, if filled with water, be sure to screw on plug. Keep water out of depressions in stand.
  • Bird Baths
    Dump out once a week and refresh or flush out with garden hose.
  • Ornamental Ponds and Fountains
    Filter water or apply larvicide to prevent breeding.
Image of a Bromeliad Plant
           Bromeliad
  • Wheelbarrow Stored Outside
    Store upside down when not in use.
  • Outdoor Grills
    Keep covered. Ensure the vent is closed.
  • Plastic in Gardens to Prevent Weeds
    Use landscape cloth that will allow water to pass through instead of plastic sheets that hold water.
  • Bromeliads (Plants that Hold Water)
    Turn plant over to dump water. For plants too large, flush out cavities with garden                                 hose once a week. Discard or remove from landscaping if possible.

Children’s Toys

  • Portable Basketball Hoops
    Ensure caps for fill holes are in place; replace if lost.
  • Kiddie Pools
    Empty or change water in kiddie pools every 5-7 days. Store indoors, under shelter or turn over when not in use.
  • Sand Boxes
    Drill small drainage holes on the bottom of the sand box.
  • Toys, Wagons, Etc.
    Keep toys turned over or inside when not in use. If water can get inside the plastic toy, so can a mosquito.
  • Deflated Toys
    Drain off water, dry out, and store indoors when not in use.

Recreation Equipment

May contain: oars
  • Boats, Canoes
    Pump out bilges. Turn over canoes and small boats. If not possible to turn over, dump out after each rain.
  • Jet Skis
    Store in a covered area or rinse out the foot depressions regularly with a hose if they hold water.
  • Pool Pumps and Drains
    Check weekly to ensure water is draining from area.
  • Old Playground Equipment
    Remove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put under cover. Be sure water drains off.
  • Pools, Spas, Unmaintained Swimming Pools
    Turn over kiddie pools when not in use and clean out every 5 to 7 days when in use. Contact the District when swimming pools and spas are in nonoperational condition. If draining, be sure to remove ALL water.
  • Under Decks and Porches: Stored Items, Depressions in Dirt or Plastic Ground Linings
    Fill in depressions. Remove or turn over any stored items that hold water.

Inside the Home

May contain: plant, vase, pottery, and jar
  • Flower Vase with Floral Arrangements
    Replace water every few days. Scrub interior of vase to eliminate mosquito eggs.
  • Holiday Items such as Tree Stands
    Replace water at least once a week and scrub thoroughly before storage.
  • Pet Water Bowls
    Rinse out once a week.
  • Potted Plants with Saucers
    Empty saucers once a week. Remove saucers from under plants.
  • Toilet Bowl Brush Holders
    Drain water in the container frequently.
  • Under Kitchen Sink
    Keep space beneath sink clear and free of damp.
  • Small Decorative Fountains or Water Features
    Maintain in operational condition or drain entirely.
  • Stagnant Toilet Water
    Flush water in extra toilet frequently.
  • Standing Water in Disconnected Pipes Exposed During Home Renovations
    Temporarily seal disconnected pipes until repairs can be made