Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

Mosquito Control and Protection Suggestions

Mosquitoes transmit West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes need water to breed and mature. Even a small amount of water can provide a breeding place for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes hatch and grow in just a few days. There may be breeding places in your yard and around your farmyard.

Mosquito egg, larva, pupal and adult stages

Here are some things you can do to help control mosquitoes in your community.

  • Empty water from buckets, tarps, toys, cemetery urns, water troughs, or other containers.
  • Get rid of old tires.
  • Change water every other day in birdbaths, fountains, rain barrels, and potted plant trays.
  • Drain or fill puddles and low spots with dirt or landscape to reduce standing
  • Treat and clean swimming pools and keep them circulating.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants if you must be in areas with lots of mosquitoes.
  • Make sure windows and door screens are "bug tight."
  • Turn off lights that attract mosquitoes.
  • Replace outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights".
  • Get rid of old cans, containers, pots or other water-holding containers on your property.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers that must be left outdoors, such as garbage cans.
  • Check your roof gutters and adjust to eliminate standing water.
  • Seal cisterns, septic tanks and fire barrels.
  • Turn over children’s wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows, or keep them where they will not collect water.
  • Fix leaky taps, faucets and sprinklers.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish (South Dakota native fathead or killifish minnows).
  • Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
  • Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.
  • Use a flyswatter or household spray to kill mosquitoes inside buildings.
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when Culex mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when necessary, following label directions and precautions carefully.
  • Some communities use chemicals to kill mosquito larvae and occasionally spray or fog to kill adult mosquito. If you have any questions, call your local mosquito control person.
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