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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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