National Pesticide Information Center



Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

Mosquitoes undergo four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Disrupting a mosquitoes' life cycle and habitat may reduce the number of mosquitoes around you and your environment. There are steps you can take to reduce mosquito populations before choosing to use a pesticide product. Get others involved to be even more effective!

Mosquito eggs

Most mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and they don’t need much. A Frisbee or a plastic bottle cap can hold enough water to support mosquito breeding.

  • Find and remove any puddles of water or standing water around your home to reduce breeding sites.
  • Puncture unusable tires in the yard to prevent pools of water from forming inside them.
  • Wipe out your bird-bath every few days. The eggs can get stuck to the bottom and survive dry periods.
  • Maintain your swimming pool to prevent mosquito breeding, and report abandoned pools to your local health department.

Mosquito larvae

Adult mosquitoes

  • Keep grass and shrubs trimmed short; this will reduce places for flying (adult) mosquitoes to rest.
  • Keep windows and door screens in good working order.
  • Use mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors, especially at dusk.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors, and consider staying indoors early in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Consider using pesticide-treated clothing. Make sure to select products with specific instructions for treating clothing.
  • Consider using an insect repellent. NPIC's Insect Repellent Locator can be useful when deciding on insect repellents.
  • Be aware of public health mosquito control programs, they may use insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes. Your local government may lead these efforts.

If you choose to use an insecticide, be sure to read and follow all label directions. Some products are designed to be applied directly to water to control mosquito larvae, while others are used more broadly to control adult mosquitoes.

Additional Resources:

Return to Mosquito Information

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated May 3, 2016