Relatively calm water that stays around for at least 4 days is an absolute necessity for the mosquito lifecycle.The good news is that anything that you can do to interrupt this process can stop mosquitoes in their tracks. The bad news is that it only takes a little water (as little as 1/4 of an inch), a little food (almost any organic material will do) and a little time (in the right conditions, they can go from egg to adult in 4 days) to produce mosquitoes. So the goal should be to eliminate places where mosquitoes can develop and minimize your exposure to them.
Eliminate Water Sites:
- Any container that can hold a quarter inch or more of water is a potential development site. Make sure to dump out any containers that hold water; buckets, tires, children's toys, etc.
- Change watering dishes or troughs at least twice a week.
- Birdbaths and decorative ponds can be producers of mosquitoes. Either change the water out twice a week or take steps to keep the water moving and agitated. Mosquitoes need relatively stagnant water, but can survive minor agitation and flow.
- Leaky faucets and hoses can lead to puddles that may turn into mosquito sites.
- Roof gutters should also be checked and cleaned so that water-retaining sites do not form.
Other Protective Steps:
- Make sure all your door and window screens are in good shape. Use screened windows and doors as opposed to wide open ones that allow insects (including mosquitoes) to enter.
- The majority of mosquito species are most active at dusk and dawn, so if possible, avoid being in mosquito areas at these times.
- Loose fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants offer greater protection from mosquitoes. The loose clothing provides 'depth' so that mosquitoes cannot reach the skin to bite.
- When appropriate, use an approved mosquito repellent. Always follow label instructions and take special care when applying to children.