Public education and residents’ actions are important components to any successful mosquito management program and are vital in reducing mosquito populations and the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission. During each mosquito season, countless numbers of mosquitoes can be found breeding in artificial and natural water holding containers in and around private residences. Almost anything that will hold standing water for up to five days has a potential to breed mosquitoes. This means that mosquitoes can often find several potential breeding sources right in your own backyard.
You should help in your community’s mosquito control efforts by managing any mosquito populations that are being produced on your property. These mosquitoes can not only cause a direct nuisance or potential health threat to yourself, but to the entire community as well. Therefore, you are urged to perform weekly property maintenance investigations during the mosquito season (typically May through September in Colorado) to reduce any potential mosquito breeding sources that may be on your property.
Residents should use the following list to help identify and eliminate mosquito breeding sites on your property:
- Cans, Buckets and other Containers: Dispose of them, turn them upside down, or store them indoors.
- Children’s Wading Pools: Turn plastic wading pools upside down when not in use or change the water every few days.
- Children’s Toys: Store toys that can hold water indoors, store upside down or drain collected water at least once per week.
- Old/Rimless Tires: Dispose of tires at a proper disposal facility or store indoors where they won’t collect rainwater.
- Tire Swings: Drill holes in the bottom of the tire to allow rainwater to drain out.
- Barrels and Garbage Cans: Drain them and store tightly covered or upside down.
- Eaves, Troughs and Gutters: Clean out accumulated leaves and debris that trap and hold water and repair sagging gutters.
- Bird Baths: Flush clean at least once per week.
- Ornamental Ponds: Stock with small fish that will eat developing mosquitoes.
- Canoes and Boats: Store small boats upside down. Cover large boats and make sure the drain plug is removed so water can drain out of the boat. Make sure water does not collect on the cover.
- Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs: Keep any swimming pools or hot tubs that are used chlorinated. If not in use, cover them and make sure water does not collect on the cover.
- Tarps or Plastic Sheets: Make sure that coverings on boats, swimming pools, compost piles, etc. are pulled tight and sloped so that rainwater runs off.
- Flower Pots/Vases and Plant Trays: Drain standing water from pot saucers and change water in outdoor vases at least once a week. Change the water in other plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Leaky Faucets, Hoses and Air Conditioners: Repair leaking faucets and air conditioner units and drain any puddles that remain standing for several days at a time.
- Pet or Livestock Watering Pans: Empty and refresh at least once a week.
- Wheelbarrows: Store upside down or indoors.
- Drainage Basins: Remove stagnant water from sump pits, dry wells, or drainage basins.
- Drainage Ditches: Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
- Cesspools and Septic Tanks: Make sure systems are tightly-covered, operating properly, and not overflowing.
- Storm Drains: Check to see that water flows freely and is not blocked by leaves and debris.
- Tree Holes: Remove stumps or fill stumps or tree holes with sand or other filler.
- Agricultural and Lawn Irrigation: Make sure agricultural irrigation ditches and laterals are not clogged or blocked (so they don’t hold stagnant water). Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent standing water.
Please visit the following website for further information on things you can do around the home to help manage the mosquito populations in your neighborhood: Fight the Bite Colorado