Tips help minimize mosquitoes

June 26, 2003

Experts say the following steps will help minimize the mosquito population:

  • Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.

  • Cover rain barrels with netting.

  • Remove old tires or drill holes in tires used as playground equipment.

  • Turn over wheelbarrows, wagons and carts when not in use.

  • Turn garbage can lids upside down and make sure trash receptacles don't contain water.

  • Empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans at least once or twice a week.

  • Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.

The following tips will decrease the chances mosquitoes will bite:

  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors with infants.

  • Wear light clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats when outdoors.

  • The most effective repellents contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), an ingredient used to repel pests such as mosquitoes and ticks.

  • Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, and Michael Cantwell, entomologist for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

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