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Reducing mosquitoes Around your Home and Community

What can I do around my home to help reduce exposure to mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing or slow moving water. Also weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor resting place for mosquitoes. In residential areas, standing water can accumulate in unused tires, cans, unused pools and pool covers and other recepticles that collect water. Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or doors, or broken screens. Eliminate standing water and prevent mosquitoes from entering your home:

  • Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
    • Remove all discarded tires from your property.
    • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water?holding containers.
    • Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
    • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
    • Drain water from pool covers.
    • Change the water in bird baths at least every 3 or 4 days.
    • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Remind or help neighbors to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their properties.
  • Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.

Some local hardware stores may carry a product called Mosquito Dunk® that contains a larvicide - Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) - for use in areas of standing water around the home. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends eliminating standing water around the home to reduce breeding sites for mosquitoes and warns that direct handling of larvicides may cause skin and eye irritation. Use these products only as directed by manufacturer. If these products are purchased for home use, we recommend careful reading of the hazards label, directions, and details regarding storage and handling.

If my neighbors don't take care of the standing water in their yards, should I report them to the Health Department?
We ask City residents and business owners to take primary responsibility for eliminating standing water on their property. However, DOHMH takes reports to track significant problem areas. Reports can be made to the City's Information Line at 311.

What can I do to reduce my risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus?
From June through October, when mosquitoes are most active, take the following precautions:

  • Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are searching for a blood meal.
  • Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes like to rest.
  • Limit outdoor evening activity, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to help reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Always read the repellents label. For more information, see DOHMH's Insect Repellent Use & Safety Fact Sheet.

Last Updated: August 31, 2012