for Reducing Mosquitoes at Home
The first step to reducing mosquito problems is to understand their lifecycles
and habitat needs. Mosquito lifecycles and habitats can vary among species.
However, all mosquitoes require water to complete their lifecycle. Female
mosquitoes require a meal of blood to produce eggs, which may be laid directly
on the water’s surface or on moist soil adjacent to water, depending
on the kind of mosquito. Mosquito larvae (called wigglers) suspend themselves
in shallow water and filter the water to feed on organic debris. The larvae
pupate into tumblers and then emerge as adults. This lifecycle can happen
rapidly, as short as seven days.
or managing standing water around your house is the best method
to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard. The following
guidelines will help you identify potential problem areas around
recycle or dispose of cans, plastic and ceramic pots or other
old tires; contact your local solid waste management facility.
un-mounted tires so that they don’t collect rainwater.
tight covers or screens over cisterns, fire barrels, rain barrels,
tubs, septic tanks and other water collectors.
drain water-trapping containers:
birdbath water every week (more frequently during summer).
drainage holes in planters, boxes and tires left or used outdoors.
drain pet dishes and plant pot saucers.
uncovered rain barrels every week (more frequently during summer).
clean and repair gutters to prevent them from retaining water.
check and drain plastic covers and tarps used outside such as
pool covers, Jacuzzi covers, garbage can lids, compost covers
and gardening tarps.
water-trapping containers such as wading pools, wheelbarrows
and buckets upside down or inside shelters.
in or landscape water-trapping areas of your yard:
in tree holes with sand or mortar, or develop drain-holes so
water cannot accumulate.
or drain seepage ponds and puddles.
or fill low areas to prevent standing water.
and repair leaky irrigation systems, pipes and faucets.
avoid puddles, do not over-water your lawn and garden.
habitats in and around water bodies such as ornamental and retention
ponds, ditches and catch basins:
weeds; keep vegetation short around water. Adult mosquitoes are
attracted to dense, tall vegetation around water.
unnecessary floating structures or debris from ponds. Mosquitoes
are often found around floating debris.
drains, ditches and culverts clean to allow proper drainage.
stocking ornamental or permanent, self-contained ponds with insect-eating
fish, such as goldfish.
pond edges to a shelf or steep slope. Mosquitoes prefer shallow
insecticides to manage mosquitoes:
pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes is not practical and often
not successful in your backyard. Suppression of adult mosquitoes
is temporary and will not solve mosquito problems. (See “Guidelines
for Preventing Mosquito Bites” for other management options
around the home.)
insecticides to kill mosquito larva around the home and yard is
not recommended as the only control method. Due to concerns about
pesticide contamination of surface water, many restrictions apply
in Washington State. According to current Washington state law,
only a few pesticides are available for use in contained water
bodies by homeowners without a Washington State Department of Agriculture
pesticide license. Individual landowner insecticide management
of mosquitoes is rarely effective; management for mosquitoes is
best achieved as a regional/municipal effort. Contact your local
government for mosquito abatement information. Consult WSU Pest
Leaflet Series "Pest Management for Prevention and Control
of Mosquitoes" PLS 121 (http://pep.wsu.edu/pdf/PLS121mosquito.pdf)
for more information.
For more information contact your local extension
WSU Extension- Whatcom County
1000 N. Forest St., Suite 201
Bellingham, WA 98225
this fact sheet...