Tips for Controlling Breeding Areas & Bites

Preventing Bites & Breeding Areas
The best methods to control mosquitoes are prevention and targeting mosquitoes in the immature stages before they emerge as adults. Mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds can transmit West Nile virus (WNV), La Crosse encephalitis, and a variety of diseases to humans, wildlife, and domestic animals. Other methods of transmission include transfusions and organ transplants. WNV first appeared in Georgia in 2001.

For more information, contact the Athens-Clarke County Public Information Office at 706-613-3795.

The following are steps that can be taken to eliminate breeding areas and minimize bites:
  • Eliminate standing water. When in doubt, dump it out.
  • For water that cannot be eliminated, use larvacide briquettes. Briquettes are no longer available at Athens-Clarke County Fire Department stations, but they can be purchased at home and garden stores. 
  • Dispose of any refuse that can hold water, especially tires. Almost anything that can hold water for a week - even a potato chip bag - can be a breeding area.
  • Rain barrels may need larvacide briquettes in them if insect screening / sealing is not used on openings.
  • Check tarps, covers, and gutters that may collect water.
  • Change water in plant containers and bird baths at least weekly.
  • Check areas and items after rain for standing water.
  • Remove or trim excess vegetation, such as ivy, to eliminate adult mosquito resting areas.
  • Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes, and socks when outside. Mosquitoes are less attracted to light-colored clothing.
  • Use insect repellent. Products containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are recommended. Permethrin can be used on clothes only. Products with 10-30% concentrations of DEET can be used on children over two months old. Higher percentages of DEET provide longer protection, although amounts over 30% do not provide much added protection. Use any repellent according to its directions. Repellent can be used with sunscreen.
  • Ultrasonic devices and traps have not been shown to provide a noticeable mosquito reduction. Backyard foggers may be helpful, if needed, but avoid misters that can be scheduled. If any devices are used, continue using repellent and reducing standing water.
  • Keep pets indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active. Don’t apply mosquito repellent to animals.
  • Sit by a fan to repel mosquitoes; they don’t like strong winds.
  • Use proper light outside; incandescent lights attract mosquitoes, and fluorescent lights neither attract nor repel mosquitoes.