Zika Prevention: Controlling Mosquitoes
Everyone can help prevent Zika transmission from occurring in Missouri by implementing two simple steps—control mosquitoes inside and outside your home and use personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and prevent sexual transmission.
Controlling Mosquitoes in and Around the Home
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of Zika virus is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water in and around the home. Implementing the steps below can greatly reduce your risk of mosquito bites.
Control Mosquitoes Outside the Home
- Tip n’ Toss - once a week empty and scrub, turnover, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
- Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
- For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes small enough to keep mosquitoes out.
- Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out. When using larvicides always follow label directions.
- Use an outdoor flying insect spray where mosquitoes rest. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
- If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes small enough to keep mosquitoes out.
Control Mosquitoes Inside the Home
- Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning when possible.
- If keeping windows and doors open, install or repair broken screens. Do not leave doors propped open. This will prevent mosquitoes from coming into your house.
- Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside your home. Once a week, empty, scrub, turnover, cover or throw out any items that hold water like vases and flowerpot saucers.
- Kill mosquitoes inside your home. Use an indoor flying insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, but may need to be reapplied. Always follow label directions.
- Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under the sink, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.