Prevent Mosquito Breeding Sites Around Your Home

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Tip. Toss. Turn. Tilt.

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance; they can also carry and spread serious disease to humans and pets.

Walk around your house, patio, garage, etc. and look carefully for anything that retains water – even just a little bit of water. If you find any, dump the water and either throw the item away or store it in or under something that does not collect water.

Standing water is public enemy number one when it comes to infestations, because mosquitoes usually lay their eggs in unmoving water.

Moquitos can breed in something as small as a soda bottle cap with a 1/4″ of water!

According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Zika virus​ is spread primarily through the bite of certain species of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The best way to avoid the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites. And the best way to avoid bites is to eliminate areas where these mosquitoes lay their eggs. These areas are called “breeding sites.”

Some species of Aedes mosquitoes breed in containers of standing water around the home rather than in wetland areas. Your home can be a major breeding ground!

For best results, get your closest neighbors involved and share these tips with them.

Organize a “Community Clean Up Day” with your neighbors or homeowners association to educate your neighborhood about what they can do to help reduce mosquito populations.

Below are some ways to prevent mosquito breeding without the use of chemical pesticides.

Click here to download 29 Ways to Prevent Standing Water Mosquito Breeding Sites Around Your Home.


29 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Breeding Sites in Standing Water Around Your Home

Potential Breeding SiteHow to Correct   
Any container capable of holding at least a teaspoon of water 1/4" deepThrow away, turn over, empty once a week or drill holes in the bottom.
Bird bathsDump out once a week or flush out with garden hose.
Pet water bowlsRinse out once a week.
Potted plants with saucersEmpty saucers or flush out with garden hose once a week.
Buckets, watering cans, drinking glasses, styrofoam cups, bottle caps, other trash that can hold waterStore inside or turn over. If trash, throwaway.
Tarps or other plastic covers, flexible sandbox coversDrain water trapped in folds and arrange so that water runs off.
Gutters, including “covered” typesClean so water runs freely.
Garbage cans, other barrels Upturned garbage can lidsKeep cans covered or drill holes in bottom. Keep lid on can or turned so
water runs off. If collecting rain water, cover with screen.
Old tiresDispose of at your local recycling facility. If used for playground
equipment, drill holes for water to run. If on ground, be sure holes
are not blocked by mulch.
Old playground equipmentRemove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put under cover.
Be sure water drains off.
Children’s toys, especially plastic toys, “Kiddie Coops,” etc.Store inside or turn so that places that can hold water are turned down. Some toys have compartments that hold water on both sides.
Wading pools, unused or abandoned swimming poolsTurn over kiddie pools when not in use. Larvicide unused swimming
pools with mosquito dunks once a month. (Mosquitoes can’t breed in
maintained swimming pools because of the chemicals used.)
Wheelbarrow stored outsideTurn over when not in use.
Flat roofsInspect for water pools.
Dripping outdoor faucets and window air conditionersIf puddling, repair faucet. Place rocks under window air conditioner
to ensure water runs off or fill hole with dirt.
Ornamental ponds without fishStock with fish, apply larvicide or filter/aerate water.
(Fish eat mosquito larvae.)
Boats, canoesPump out bilges. Turn over canoes and small boats.
If not possible to turn over, dump out after each rain.
Under decks, porches or outbuildings: stored items, depressions in dirt or plastic ground liningsFill in depressions. Remove or turn over any stored items that hold water.
Pipes, plumbing supplies with elbows(comer joints)Store under cover. If they must be outside, arrange so openings point
down, not up.
Drainage ditch, culvert or other low areas clogged by grass and weed clippingsRemove grass and weed clippings so water can flow and/or drain freely.
Flexible plastic pipe to take water away from downspoutReplace with smooth pipe. The grooves can hold enough water to breed mosquitoes. Or fasten screen or old nylon stocking to
end with duct tape.
Base of patio umbrella or portable basketball standFill with sand or, if filled with water, be sure to screw on plug.
Keep water out of depressions on stand also.
Outdoor grillsKeep covered. Be sure vent is closed also.
Bromeliads (plants that hold water), holes in trees or cavities formed by multiple tree trunksTurn plant over to dump water. For trees or plants too large to turn over, flush out cavities with garden hose once a week.
Holes in trees or cavitiesTurn over, flush out cavities with garden hose once a week.
Outside drainsCover with screening or larvicide with “mosquito dunks/pellets.”
Sump pumpsCover with screening
BambooCut down and regularly mow remaining “stumps” so they
can’t hold water
Hollow fence posts without capsPut caps on open chain link or plastic fence posts.
Plastic in gardens to prevent weedsUse landscape cloth that will allow water to pass through
instead of plastic sheets that hold water.

Check list from Montgomery County, MD’s “Use This List to Check for Mosquitoes’ Artifical Breeding Sites”