Don’t Let it Stand!
How to Identify & Eliminate Common Mosquito Sources
Homeowners and residents, you can help Fresno County eliminate mosquito breeding grounds!
The water that mosquitos need to breed comes primarily from backyard irrigation. Two of these most popular outdoor spots are swimming pools and containers that hold water, including plant pots.
To prevent mosquitos from breeding around your home, follow these 3 easy steps: Minimize, Modify & Maintain!
Tip: Check your yard immediately after watering to see where the water remains!
The best and most important way to remove mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard is to minimize potential sources of standing water. Discard all unnecessary containers or clutter and move water-holding items away from sprinklers or other sources of water.
Examples of potential water sources to discard/relocate include:
- Water collection pans
- Saucers under potted plants
- Bottles, cups, and cans (these mosquitoes need very little water!)
- Wading / kiddie pools
- Outdoor toys
- Buckets and Gardening Supplies
- Lawn decorations.
When you can’t eliminate standing water sources, the next best solution is to modify these items to prevent mosquitos from getting into the problem areas. You can do this by incorporating screens and covers, as well as covering water when not in use.
Ways to modify items include:
- Screen yard drain caps or use foam drain inserts to block mosquito entry (mosquitoes love to lay eggs in underground drainage pipes!):
- Cover and screen water barrels
- Add drainage holes to fixtures
- Cover swimming pools, wading pools and hot tubs when not in use
- Fill abandoned or unused septic tanks with dirt or gravel
- Fill in low spots in the yard and beneath the home to prevent water accumulation
- If you choose to keep saucers under potted plants, fill with sand to prevent standing water.
Maintaining backyard water features is essential to prevent mosquito production. If you can’t discard an item or modify it sufficiently, you should drain and clean (including scrubbing) the item every 5 days, or as needed for swimming pools.
Items that should be maintained in working order include:
- Pools (keep up with regular maintenance, including cleaning the filter and skimming)
- Running fountains or waterfalls so water keeps moving
- Only irrigate as necessary to prevent overaccumulation of water in lawns and fields
- Check periodically for leaks beneath the home; repair immediately to prevent water accumulation
- Check septic tanks for cracks and repair tank walls
Items that require a “drain and clean” routine include:
- Bird baths
- Pet water bowls (change twice a week, scrub between refills)
- Pool covers (check weekly to avoid water accumulation on cover)
- Roof gutters (clean annually)
- Fixtures or Decorations (that can’t be moved away from sprinklers).
By following these 3 steps above, you’re helping our community control and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. If you think your pool or a nearby pool may be producing mosquitos, contact your local mosquito control district here.