National Pesticide Information Center




Mosquitoes travel, so it's hard to keep them out of certain areas when there's a large population in your neighborhood. To prevent bites, you can use this page to learn about mosquito biology, tips to help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito control methods.

Mosquito Topics:

Mosquito Biology

Mosquitoes are small flying insects that bite humans and other animals. In addition to being itchy and annoying, some mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus and malaria to humans and animals.There are many different species of mosquitoes with different preferences for climate and breeding territory. Typically, mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Mosquito larvae hatch from the eggs and remain in the water, feeding on tiny organisms. Once they mature, adult mosquitoes leave the water to seek a blood meal and breed. They continue the cycle by laying new eggs in water. To learn more about mosquito biology, visit the links below.

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Preventing Mosquitoes

Many community agencies conduct wide area mosquito spraying (or fogging) to control local mosquito populations, however there are steps you can take to reduce mosquito populations without using insecticides, such as removing standing water to prevent young mosquitoes from growing up. You can also protect yourself from mosquito bites with various insect repellents on the market today. For help selecting a mosquito repellent, try our Insect Repellent Locator or our My Repellent Finder App.

Control tips:

  • Empty water from containers such as flower pots, birdbaths, pet water dishes, cans, gutters, tires and buckets regularly to disrupt the mosquito breeding cycle.
  • Keep windows and door screens in good working order to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
  • If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors, consider staying indoors early in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Maintain your swimming pool to prevent mosquito breeding, and report abandoned pools to your local health department.
  • Use mosquito netting over infants carriers when infants are outdoors.
  • Consider using an insect repellent, be sure to follow the label directions for applying the repellent.

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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 August 19, 2014