How can I prevent mosquitoes?

Most counties have a mosquito abatement program in place to minimize the local population and help keep the public safe. These programs typically involve trapping mosquitoes in different areas and testing them for known pathogens. This helps monitor the spread of diseases and warn the public of risks in the area. County programs may also include plans for periodic spraying or fogging to eliminate adult mosquitoes.

Mosquito prevention at home starts with removing areas of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water where the larvae develop, so it is important to empty containers such as empty tires and flowerpots, pool covers and baby pools after a rainstorm. Water in birdbaths should be regularly changed as well.

Most types of mosquitoes are active around dusk and dawn, so avoiding the outdoors at those times will reduce the likelihood of getting a bite. If you’re outside, wear long sleeves, long pants and insect repellent to protect skin from mosquitoes. A small fan at outdoor gatherings may also reduce mosquitoes, as they are not strong flyers.

It is especially important to wear effective insect repellents and protective clothing if traveling outside the U.S. Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries.

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