Protection from Mosquitoes

Guidelines for Your Safety

garden pot with saucer

General Guidelines

Mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs.

  • Look for anything that can hold water for more than 3 days.
  • Dump and drain the water once a week.
  • Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw away all items that hold water.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers, so that mosquitoes can’t get inside to lay eggs.
  • Rain barrels must be tightly sealed at all entrances with 1/16thinch wire mesh and checked regularly.
  • Check inside and outside your home.
tire in yard

Outdoor Checklist

Prevent instances of standing water by checking the following:

  • Potted plant saucers, decorative pots
  • Buckets and other containers
  • Trash cans, trash can lids
  • Recyclables, recycle collection bins
  • Fountains, birdbaths, ponds
  • Water bowls for pets
  • Animal water troughs
  • Bromeliads and other plants that naturally collect and hold water
  • Leaky hoses, sprinklers, faucets
  • Rain barrels, cisterns, homemade water collection and storage containers
  • Items stored outside around your home or yard or place in a
    sheltered area
  • Tires, miscellaneous items or junk
  • Outdoor toys, tire swings, basketball hoop bases
  • Lilly pots, water gardens
  • Swimming pool, spa
  • Watering cans
  • Lawn ornaments, lawn furniture
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Covers or tarps on boats, cars, or recreational vehicles
  • Tree holes and low areas with persistent puddling
  • Rain gutters, yard drains, French drains
  • Street gutters, pot holes
mosquitos on screen

Inside Your Home

Reduce opportunities for mosquitoes inside your home.

  • Use screens on windows and doors.
  • Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Check for mosquito larvae breeding in water holding plants inside your home (i.e. lucky bamboo, bromeliads, vases, plant saucers).
  • Close windows and use air conditioning when available.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

Download the Mosquito Control Checklist (PDF) and prepare your surroundings:

Prevent Mosquito Bites

eucalyptus oil
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents* are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus


*Find the insect repellent that’s right for you.

woman spraying repellent

General Tips

  • Always follow the product label instructions for repellent.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen apply sunscreen first and insect repellent
woman spraying child

Babies & Children

  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
  • Adults should spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or paramenthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
  • Natural insect repellents (repellents not registered with EPA)
  • We do not know the effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents, including some natural repellents.
  • To protect yourself against diseases spread by mosquitoes, CDC and EPA recommend using an EPA-registered insect repellent.
  • Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness.
long sleeve clothing


  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Permethrin-treated clothing will protect you after multiple washings.
  • See product information to find out how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions.
  • Do not use permethrin products directly on skin.

If you are a resident of the District:

CALL (310) 915-7370

to report mosquito issues, or:


to report a dead bird, or visit: