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Do-it-Yourself Solutions for Mosquito Problems

Do it yourself solutions for mosquito problems

The best method to reduce mosquito 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 it. 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.

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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 it away.
  • Old Tires
    Dispose of it at your local recycling facility. If used for playground equipment, drill holes for water to run. If on the 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 them out with a garden hose once a week. Remove saucers from under plants. Place fine aquarium gravel in saucers.
  • Garbage Cans, Barrels, Recycling Bins
    Keep cans covered with lids or drill holes in the bottom. If collecting rainwater, cover it with a fine mesh screen.
  • Rain Barrels
    Cover the rain barrel with an insect screen and tightly secure it. Install small pieces of screen over any other holes, such as overflow valves or connection points, and secure.  If the 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.


Building Structures

May contain: tabletop and furniture
  • Dripping Outdoor Faucets and Window Air Conditioners
    If puddling, repair the faucet. Place rocks under the window air conditioner to ensure water runs off or fill the hole with dirt.
  • 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 so water runs freely.
  • Hollow Fence Posts Without Caps
    Put caps on open chain links or plastic fence posts.
  • Old Playground Equipment
    Remove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put it under cover. Be sure the water drains off.
  • Sump Pumps
    Cover with screening.
  • 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.



May contain: water
  • Base of Patio Umbrellas and Portable Basketball Stand
    Fill with sand or, if filled with water, be sure to screw on the plug. Keep water out of depressions in the stand.
  • Bird Baths
    Dump out once a week or flush out with a 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 the plant over to dump water. For plants too large, flush out cavities with a garden hose once a week. Discard or remove from landscaping if possible.


Children’s Toys

may contain: kiddie pool, water, red ball, and toy
  • 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 or turn over when not in use.
  • Sand Boxes
    Drill small drainage holes on the bottom of the sandbox.
  • Toys, Wagons, Etc.
    Keep toys turned over or inside when not in use. If water can get inside a plastic toy, so can a mosquito—drill drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Deflated Toys
    Drain off water, dry out, and store indoors when not in use.



May contain: play area and playground
  • Boats, Canoes
    Pump out bilges. Turn over canoes and small boats. If turning over is not possible, dump out after each rain.
  • Jet Skis
    Rinse out the foot depressions with a hose.
  • Pool Pumps and Drains
    Check weekly to ensure water is draining from the area.
  • Old Playground Equipment
    Remove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put it under cover. Be sure the water drains off.
  • Pools, Spas, Unmaintained Swimming Pools
    Turn over kiddie pools when not in use. Contact the District when swimming pools and spas are in nonoperational condition. If draining, wet/dry vacuum to remove 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: lighting
  • Flower Vase with Floral Arrangements
    Replace water every few days. Scrub the interior of the 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 the sink clear and free of dampness.
  • Small Decorative Fountains or Water Features
    Maintain in operational condition or drain entirely.
  • Stagnant Toilet Water
    Flush water in the extra toilet frequently.
  • Standing Water in Disconnected Pipes Exposed During Home Renovations
    Temporarily seal disconnected pipes until the plumbing system is in working order.