Eliminate Standing Water

If mosquitoes are a problem where you live, make sure that you are not providing breeding sites in your own yard. The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate or treat the standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs and their larvae live and grow. Once an adult mosquito has emerged from its water-breeding site, air-borne chemical spraying provides only temporary relief.

Here are some examples of potential mosquito breeding sites commonly seen around homes and tips to remedy the problem:

Roof Gutters

Leaves and debris should be cleaned out of gutters frequently to ensure that water flows freely and does not accumulate.

Downspout Drainage

Be sure that flexible plastic pipes used for downspout drainage are installed so that water may drain freely. The grooves in these plastic pipes can hold enough water to breed mosquitoes. If proper drainage cannot be ensured, treat with a larvicide.

End of a corrugated pipe that is supported at the end, thus trapping water where mosquitoes will breed.

Mosquito Breeding Site
Note that the end of the corrugated pipe is supported at the end, thus trapping water where mosquitoes will breed.


Down spout turned around the wrong way

Mosquito Breeding Site
This trough has been placed backwards to avoid erosion, however it retains enough water to breed mosquitoes.


This drain pipe is angled downwards

Good Idea
This drain pipe is angled downwards, allowing all the water to drain out. If you are using plastic or cement troughs to aide in downspout drainage, be sure that the trough is positioned in such a way beneath the downspout that allows water to drain freely and not accumulate. If you must place the through in this position, drill holes in the base to allow water to drain.

Artificial Containers

Buckets, watering cans, drinking glasses, plastic cups, bottle caps, or any other trash that can hold water should be stored indoors or turned over. If trash, these items should be recycled or properly disposed of. Cans and containers around your home should also be stored, recycled, or disposed of. Alternatively, you can drill holes in the bottom of these containers to allow drainage or empty after rain showers.

Wheelbarrow on side with water

Wheelbarrow upside down

Good Idea

Old Tires

Tires should be recycled or stored where they won't collect rainwater. For playground use, drill water drainage holes in tires. One abandoned tire can breed thousands of mosquitoes. For disposal information, call 703-324-5230.

Old tire

tire close up


Bird Baths

The water in bird baths should be changed or flushed out using a garden hose at least once a week.


Mosquito Breeding Site (if not hosed out weekly.)

Ornamental Ponds

Ornamental ponds should be stocked with fish which eat mosquito larvae, or should be filtered/aerated with a recirculation pump. Ponds can be treated with a larvicide as needed.

Puddles and Wet, Soggy Areas

In areas of your yard where water puddles or does not drain properly, the area may be filled with dirt or other landscaping material. These areas may also be treated with a larvicide as needed.

Drainage Ditches and Culverts

Allow water to flow or drain freely in ditches and culverts by clearing debris and grass or weed clippings. Treat with a larvicide as needed.

Picture of Tire ruts that accumulate water.

Mosquito Breeding site
Tire ruts accumulate water.
Good Road drainage

Good Idea

Tarps on Woodpiles and Garden Equipment

Empty water that collects in folds and sagging areas of tarps. Tighten or straighten tarps so water runs off.

Leaking Faucets

Seal, repair or replace faucets that are leaking so as to avoid accumulation of water in which mosquitoes might breed.

Leaky faucet


May create a potential
mosquito breeding site.

Leaky faucets may
create puddles that will
provide a breeding place
for mosquitoes.

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