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Education - West Nile Tips

Reducing the Risk of West Nile at Home

Individual property owners are ultimately responsible for controlling mosquitoes that are breeding on their property. Perhaps the best way to be prepared and reduce individual risk is to be an informed person. There are a number of commonsense measures to make your home less hospitable to mosquitoes.

  • Keep the water in your swimming pool or outdoor tub properly chlorinated
  • If possible, cover your swimming pool or outdoor tub when not in use
  • Drain any standing water that collects outdoors
  • Avoid over irrigating landscaping, water may collect at a low spot on your property
  • Accelerate the draining of standing water
  • Maintain tight fitting door and window screens on your house
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible

Additional measures, regarding potential mosquito breeding sites around the home, are detailed in the Homeowners Checklist for Mosquitoes (below).

You also can reduce exposure to mosquitoes when you’re outdoors by wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeved shirts, slacks and socks. You should also consider the use an insect repellant when going outdoors, particularly at dusk and dawn. It’s extremely important to follow the manufacturer’s directions when using any insect repellant.

Homeowner’s Mosquito Checklist


Any container capable of holding water

Throw away. Turn container over. Empty container at least once per week; or Drill drainage holes in bottom of container.

Bird Baths

Empty bath; or Flush bath out with garden hose at least once per week.

Pet Water Bowls

Rinse out at least once per week.

Potted Plants with Saucers

Empty saucers; or Flush out with garden hose at least once per week.

Buckets, watering cans, drinking
glasses, Styrofoam cups, bottle caps, foil, plastic, or other trash able to hold water

Throw away. Store inside; or Turn over.

Tarps or other plastic covers,
flexible sandbox covers

Drain water trapped in creases and folds. Arrange cover so that water drains off.

Clogged rain gutters

Clean gutters so that water runs freely.

Garbage cans, other barrels, upturned lids

Keep can or barrel covered. Drill drainage holes in bottom of container.

Old tires

Dispose of tires. Cover tires with plastic tarp. If tires are used for playground equipment, drill drainage holes in bottom.

Wading pools, unused or
abandoned swimming pools

Turn over kiddie pools when not in use. Properly maintain swimming pools (mosquitoes cannot breed in maintained swimming pools due to the chemicals used).


Turn over when not in use.

Dripping outdoor faucets,
Air Conditioner condensation lines, Evaporative Cooler drain lines

If puddling/ponding occurs, repair faucet or drain. Fill soil depression in with dirt to allow for adequate drainage of condensate water.

Ornamental ponds

Stock with fish (fish eat mosquito larvae). Apply larvicide or filter/aerate water.

Boats, canoes

Pump out bilges. Turn over canoes and small boats when not in use. If not possible to turn over, dump out water following

Under decks, porches, or
outbuildings: stored items, depressions
in dirt or plastic ground linings

Fill in depressions. Remove or turn over any stored items than can hold water.

Flood irrigation areas, particularly in
areas with depressed or compacted soils.

Fill depressions in ground that allow water to collect and stand for long periods. Aerate soil to allow for adequate drainage of irrigation water.

Children’s toys, especially plastic toys.

Store inside or turn so that places that can hold water are turned down.

Base of patio umbrella or
portable basketball stand.

Fill with sand. If filled with water, ensure that plug is screwed in tightly. Additionally, keep water out of depressions on stand.

Outdoor grills

Keep covered. Ensure that vents are closed when not in use.

Flat roofs

Inspect for pooling water.




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