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Protective Measures

Mosquito control can be divided into two areas of responsibility: individual and public. Individual mosquito control includes those mosquito problems which can be handled by the individual, such as emptying containers around the home, wearing proper clothing and etc. Public mosquito control involves those mosquito problems that trouble homeowners and the general population and cannot be eliminated through individual efforts, but instead, must be managed through an organized effort.

Personal Protection

Persons working or playing in mosquito-infested areas will find repellents very helpful in preventing mosquito bites. Use repellents containing ingredients such as diethyl phthalate, diethyl carbate, N, N-Diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide (DEET), and ethyl hexanediol. For more than 40 years, DEET has been the standard in mosquito repellents. Check the label for these active ingredients. The area of skin to be protected should be covered evenly, because mosquitoes will find and bite untreated spots. It is often helpful to use spray repellents on outer clothing as well as the skin. Repellents are formulated and sold as aerosols, creams, solids (sticks) and liquids. You should keep repellents away from eyes, nostrils and lips. Protection generally may be expected to lact up to 6 hours following application. Check with pediatrician before applying insect repellent to infants and small children.

To reduce the annoyance of mosquito bites and prevent transmission of mosquito-borne infections, a few common sense measures should be followed. These include:

  • Avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes may be resting 
  • Limit evening outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active 
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants an socks 
  • Keep windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh) to keep mosquitoes out of the home

Other resources include:

Source Reduction

The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to find and eliminate their breeding sites. Eliminating large breeding areas such as swamps or sluggishly moving streams or ditches requires community-wide efforts. Permanent source reduction measures include ditching, and draining swampy mosquito breeding areas.

Residents can take the following steps to prevent mosquito breeding on their own property:

  1. Dump out or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold even small amounts of water. Do not allow water to accumulate at the base of flower pots or in pet dishes for more than 2 days.
  2. Clean debris from rain gutters. Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks to eliminate standing water. Rake up fallen magnolia tree leaves and bag or compost.
  3. Change water in bird baths and wading pools at least twice a week and stock ornamental pools with mosquito fish provided by Mosquito Control.
  4. Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar, or flush with clean water weekly.
  5. Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  6. Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs and flush troughs with fresh water weekly.
  7. Irrigate lawns and gardens only when necessary, to prevent water from standing for several days. Check low spots in yard and fill to eliminate standing water.
  8. Keep weeds and lawn trimmed and mowed.

Chemical Control

The Chemical Control page discusses the use of chemicals in the control of mosquitoes and lists several EPA documents concerning the chemicals approved for use in mosquito control.

Biological Control

The Biological Control page discusses the use of biological control methods in mosquito control. Includes Bti, mosquitofish and more.

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