- Author: Anne E Schellman
In Part I, we discussed why mosquitoes bite, and which mosquito species can spread West Nile and Zika virus. Now, let's talk about what mosquitoes need to reproduce, how to prevent them from breeding around your home, and best methods to protect yourself and your family while outdoors.
What do Mosquitoes Need to Breed?
The mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus and Zika need water to lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes can lay their eggs in even the smallest amount of water. Places in your yard that appeal to them include standing water found in ponds, garden pots, children's toys, or even pet water bowls. Eliminating these possible breeding spaces is key to mosquito control.
Watch the video “Don't Let Mosquitoes Breed in your Yard” from UC IPM for helpful tips.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
There's a plethora of mosquito control and prevention items for sale, but many are ineffective.
When outdoors, protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved pants and shirts, long socks, and a hat. Be aware that mosquitoes can bite through a thin layer of clothing. Also, choose and apply an effective EPA-registered mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picardin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin.
You may be tempted to use outdoor sprays to battle mosquitoes. However, this method is only temporary and doesn't help control the source of the problem. The best way to avoid bites are prevention and protection.
Resources: UC IPM Pests in the Urban Landscape. Zika, Mosquitoes, and Repellents. https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=21923