Prevention of mosquito breeding and protection from bites are the best ways to reduce your chances of being infected with mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus.
To reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito, all residents should follow the following recommendations:
DEET Insect Repellent
Use DEET all day, every day. Use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents. Make sure to follow the directions on the label. (Mosquitoes that carry Zika bite all day, every day, not just dawn and dusk, so whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents.) View CDC's information on repellents
Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
Dusk & Dawn
Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. However, mosquitoes that carry Zika bite all day, every day, not just dawn and dusk, so eliminate standing water and protect yourself.
Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace. This includes any low areas where water may accumulate and items such as flower pots, cans, wheel barrows, boats, old tires, etc. that may hold water.
Any standing, stagnant water that remains for 7 to 10 days after a rain can, and usually will, produce mosquitoes. For example, one coffee can full of water has been shown to produce in excess of 10,000 mosquitoes over an entire summer season.
- Empty all water holding containers in your yard on a regular basis, at least once a week, children's wading pools, rain barrels, buckets, bird baths and stored boats are prime examples of mosquito breeding sites.
- Over-watering and poor irrigation practices are common producers of mosquitoes around the home, in parks and on golf courses. Report standing water to appropriate maintenance personnel.
- Clean out gutters and down spouts of leaves and other debris that slows drainage.
- Maintain swimming pools circulation and filter systems, ph, and chlorine levels. (Learn more about properly maintaining your pool.)
- Clean and replace pet water containers and bird baths daily.
- Keep gambusia, a tiny native fish that eats mosquito larvae, in your backyard pond. Also known as mosquito fish, gambusia reproduces rapidly: A female gives birth to about 60 young within 16 to 28 days after mating. (Frogs can, in turn, keep the gambusia population under control.)
- Use battery-operated Water Wigglers in birdbaths since female mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in moving water.
- Toss Mosquito Dunks, containing Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a bacterium) in rain barrels and the basins of water features. You can also put a few small pieces of the dunks in flowerpot saucers, where irrigation water might collect. Mosquito dunks are available at the Public Health and Environmental Quality Department offices located at 300 W. Main St, 2nd Floor, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. Dunks are limited to 2 per household. View more information on the mosquito dunk larvicide
- Cast Bti granules, also known as Mosquito Bits, under dense shrubbery where mosquitoes breed in wet soil. Suggestion: Distribute it in spring and reapply during summer.
- Ditches must be kept free of vegetation and other debris to promote rapid drainage, and pond edges should be kept clean of cattails and other aquatic vegetation. This is where mosquito larvae develop and mature.