What You Can Do

Unused, discarded containers where water can collect become ideal breeding spots for mosquitoes.  Survey your yards and farms to get rid of these containers.


Perhaps the best way of controlling mosquitoes is to eliminate unnecessary breeding habitat. Water is required for mosquito eggs to hatch. Simply put, if no water is available, the mosquito life cycle ends.  This is where county resident can help.  You can take the following steps to reduce mosquito breeding habitat on your property:  
  • Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, pet dishes, or other container for more than two days.

  • Clean debris from rain gutters and remove any standing water under or around structures, or on flat roofs.  Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or eliminate puddles that remain for several days.

  • If possible, drain puddles, sloughs, and swampy areas. 

  • Remove any unneeded dams from irrigation ditches that may cause flooding or pooling of water. If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes.

  • Remove beaver dams from ditches and streams.  Beaver are busy in Summit County building dams that block waterways and cause unwanted flooding, which contributes to mosquito breeding areas.

  • Eliminate leaks from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.

  • Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs. Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.

  • Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water.

  • Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper back-filling and grading prevent drainage problems.

  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
(Source: Information provided by the American Mosquito Control Association)

Protect Yourself

DEET is the most effective insect repellent available. The more DEET an insect repellent contains, the longer it will protect you. A higher percentage of DEET does not mean it will protect you better, just that it will last longer. While products containing DEET are safe, follow these steps when applying:  
  • Use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing. Don't apply repellent to skin that is under clothing. (Heavy application is not necessary to achieve protection.)
  • Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. 
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water. 
  • Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas. 
  • Do not apply aerosol or pump products directly to your face.  
  • Spray your hands and then rub them carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth. 
A viable alternative to DEET is Picaridin, which is similar in effectiveness to DEET but more pleasant to use and less likely to cause skin irritation. Picaridin, developed by Bayer®, has been used as an insect repellent worldwide since 1998 and is one of the best-selling insect repellents in Europe. It has been available in the United States since 2005. It is a synthetic compound that was made to resemble the natural compound piperine, which is found in the group of plants that are used to produce black pepper.

More information regarding insect repellent use and safety can be found on the US Center for Disease Control's website.

Other ways to protect yourself:

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside. 
  • Make sure screen doors and window screens are in good condition. 
  • Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours. 
  • Use mosquito netting or a screened tent when sleeping outdoors.