Mosquito Control—A Citizen's Guide
Your first line of defense should always be personal protection.
- Avoid being outdoors during dawn and dusk periods, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
- Apply an EPA-registered repellent according to label directions.
Things you can do to control mosquitoes around your home.
- Many mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. To reduce the mosquito population in and around your home, reduce or eliminate all standing water:
- Regularly clean birdbaths, toys and other items that collect water in the yard.
- Throw out or drill holes in containers and tires that can fill with water.
- Keep gutters clean.
- Fill in hollow stumps and depressions in landscape where water collects.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well-trimmed around the house.
- More Tips:
A pesticide applicator's license is required when spraying for mosquitoes:
- On public property.
- On private property open to the public, such as golf courses, campgrounds, and other businesses.
- At all K–12 schools (Maine School IPM Program)
- When governmental employees apply pesticides, at the state, federal or local level.
- When applying pesticides for hire.
- More information on pesticide applicator licensing
Homeowners may apply pesticides to their own property to control mosquitoes.
- Always read and follow product label directions.
- Select a product that lists mosquitoes and residential areas on the product label.
- Insecticides are available for controlling mosquitoes where they breed in water, but a permit may be required. There are several products formulated as "donuts" ("dunks") or as granules that contain the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis or "Bti".
- Insecticides that control adult mosquitoes are sprayed on shrubs and dense vegetation near the ground.
- Be sure you have the necessary equipment to apply the product you purchase.
- Be sure you wear the proper protective clothing, as specified on the label.
- Spray areas where mosquitoes rest during the day—shaded, cool, moist areas (dense vegetation for example) near the ground and up to four feet high.
- More Information:
Consider hiring a professional—their training often results in more effective control with fewer negative impacts.
- List of licensed companies offering mosquito-control services
- Questions to ask when hiring a pest control company:
- May I see your license?
- What parts of my property will you be treating?
- How long should we keep people and pets out of the treated area?
- What is/are the name(s) of the pesticide product(s) you will apply and how can I get more information about these products?
- Is there anything else we should do to control mosquitoes on our property?
Schools play an important role in preventing mosquito-borne illnesses.