Preventing Mosquito Bites
- Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long sleeves and pants to leave less of your skin exposed.
- Use an insect repellent every time you go outside, and follow the instructions on the label. The most effective repellents contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and certain oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products. DO NOT USE products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthanediol
(PMD) on children under 3 years of age. Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin. Adults should spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- Regularly drain standing water, including water collecting in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters, downspout drain areas and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus breed in stagnant water.
- Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
- If you need to maintain areas of standing water — such as an ornamental pond — consider adding anti-larval tablets containing Bacillus thuringiensis. This bacterium kills mosquito larvae but is safe for birds and other animals.
- Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.