5 Tips for Home Mosquito Control

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5 tips for controlling mosquitoes around your home and lawn
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5 D's of Mosquito Control

1. Daypart
2. Draft
3. Drainage
4. Dress
5. DEET (or other EPA-registered insect repellent)

(Image: Illustration of man standing on lawn, applying insect repellent. In background are mosquito, sun, home, lawn chair with fan and bird bath.


1. Avoid being outdoors from early evening through mid-morning, when mosquitoes are most active.1

2. Run a rotating fan (or even a simple box fan would help) in the area you'll be occupying. Mosquitoes are relatively weak flyers and the breeze disperses your body odor and temperature (both of which help mosquitoes to hone in on us).2 • A fan can also help protect kenneled pets, since mosquitoes can carry potentially fatal dog and cat heartworm.

3. Don't allow stagnant water to accumulate in gutters, garbage cans, flower pots, buckets, discarded tires, etc. • Change water in bird baths and kiddie swimming pools at least every two3 or three days4 and pet bowls daily. • Repair damaged window and door screens. • Keep lawn mowed short and don't overwater.

4. Wear socks and loose, light colored, long sleeve shirt and long pants. (Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothes.5)

5. Apply just enough DEET (or other EPA-registered insect repellent) liquid, lotion, spray, towlette or roll-on to cover your exposed skin and/or on top of clothing6 (Read your product's directions before use.) • Rather than killing mosquitoes, DEET corrupts their odor receptors, making you more difficult to locate.5 • Depending on the percentage of DEET in your product, protection lasts between 2-12 hours. • Never apply DEET over cuts, wounds or skin irritations. • Avoid applying to hands, eyes or mouth of children. (DEET of 30% or less concentration is approved for use with children of all ages.5) • When coming indoors, wash hands and treated areas with soap and water and launder clothes before rewearing. • Don't spray aerosol or pump products in closed areas or directly to face. Spray on hands first and then rub onto face. • If you'll be in the sun, apply sunscreen 10-15 minutes before applying DEET. • If accidental ingestion occurs, call poison control at 800-222-1222 or your physician. • If you're averse to applying repellent directly to the skin, wearing permethrin-treated clothing is a CDC approved option for humans and pets!6

Don't let mosquitoes prevent you from enjoying the outdoors. Just remember and practice your 5 D's!

Sources (accessed April 2, 2015):
1. http://www.nola.gov/mosquito/mosquitoes/tips-for-home-mosquito-control/
2. http://nytimes.com/2013/07/16/science/a-low-tech-mosquito-deterrent.html
3. https://www.cityofaikensc.gov/government/neighborhood-initiative-program/mosquito-control-management-spraying
4. https://health.ny.gov/diseases/west_nile_virus/mosquitoes_and_disease_faq.htm
5. http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/content/clinics/travel-clinic/avoiding-insects
6. http://www2.epa.gov/insect-repellents/deet
7. http://phys.org/news/2011-09-deet-insects.html
8. http://www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes

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Feedback for Backyard Mosquito ControlAdd Comment
April 5, 2015
Should anything be done for in-ground, backyard swimming pools? Are they a mosquito breeding ground?
Marti at FloridaHealth.com
April 6, 2015
Chlorine alone will not kill mosquito larvae so you'll want to operate your filter and skimmer daily in order to remove egg rafts and larvae. If you use a pool cover, make certain that it fits tightly and remove rainwater that accumulates on top. (Here is a youtube video for a clever, safe, simple, and free way to siphon water off your pool cover with a garden hose.)
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