Meigs Health Today: Steps to Prevent Mosquitoes from Breeding at Your Home

By Elizabeth Teaford, Meigs County Health Dept. Mosquito Control Program Contractor

Preventing mosquitoes from breeding around your home is important to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases andsome steps can be easy to complete at your very own home.

Elizabeth Teaford, Meigs County Health Dept. Mosquito Control Program Contractor

1.) Do you have a tire swing in your yard? Make sure to drill holes in the bottom of the tire to allow water to drain out of the bottom.

2.) Do you have an ornamental pond that seems to attract mosquitoes? By adding an aeration system to your pond, it increases the flow and movement of the water. This movement is not adequate for mosquitoes to lay their eggs – they prefer stagnant pools of water. You can also add mosquito-eating fish to your pond!

3.) Do you have a bird bath on your property? Be sure to replace the old water in the bird bath at least once a week. Mosquitoes can grow from an egg to an adult in just 4-7 days, so it is important to change the stagnant water in your bird bath frequently. 

4.) Do you have accumulated trash on your property? A female mosquito can lay her eggs in as little as a teaspoon of water. This means that a tin can has the potential to become a breeding area for mosquitoes. To decrease the possibilities of this occurring, pick up trash such as tin cans, old containers, and even plastic bags and tarps from your property that may be able to hold rain water.

5.) Do you leave bowls of water outside for your pet(s)? Change the water frequently in your pet’s water dishes to eliminate the chance that it becomes a breeding area for mosquitoes.

6.) Do you have a swimming pool? By cleaning and adding chlorine to your pool, this decreases the likelihood that mosquitoes will use it to lay their eggs. This routine cleaning should be done even when the pool is not in use.

7.) Do your gutters and eave spouts tend to get clogged up due to plant growth? Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in the retained water of your gutters if they are clogged. Cleaning out and removing debris from your gutters regularly can ensure adequate drainage, eliminating standing water that mosquitoes can use as breeding grounds. 

8.) What else can you do to decrease the possible mosquito breeding grounds on your property? Make sure to empty any standing water that may have accumulated in buckets, barrels, flowerpots, tarp covers, and wheel barrows. If possible, store such items in a covered building/area where water cannot get inside them and accumulate. 

9.) Do you have old tires that you no longer use? Tires have become the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes as they are dumped almost anywhere when they are not being used. So what should you do with your old tires? If you are a Meigs County resident, you can bring your old tires to the Meigs County Health Department and we will take and dispose of the tires for you, for free! All you have to do is bring the tires to the health department between 9am and 3pm, show proof of your residency, and we will take care of them for you. There is a limit of 10 tires at a time, and tractor tires are accepted but there is a $10 disposal fee per tractor tire. For more information about this program, go to www.meigs-health.com.

For more information and resources about mosquitoes and mosquito prevention, visit the Ohio Mosquito and Vector Control Association’s website at http://www.ohiomosquito.org/and the Ohio Department of Health’s website about their Fight the Bite Program athttps://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/zoonotic-disease-program/resources/mosquito-borne-diseases.

Do you know how female mosquitoes are easily able to gain access to your blood under your skin? Watch this cool video to find out!