Reducing the number of mosquitoes in areas where people work and play is the most important step in preventing West Nile virus and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes can only breed in standing water. By draining all sources of standing water in and around your property, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.

Using insect repellents and wearing protective clothing can reduce risk of exposure. These guidelines are consistent with recommendations for effective mosquito control from the CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

Remember to always follow the four Ds:

Dusk and Dawn are the time of the day when the mosquito is most active. Stay indoors if possible or limit outdoor activity during these periods.

Dress to keep skin covered as much as possible, consider wearing loose, longsleeved shirts and long pants.

Use repellants that contain DEET as the active ingredient for treating exposed skin areas. Always carefully follow label directions.

Drain any standing water on your property. This includes any low areas where water may accumulate and items such as flower pots, cans, wheel barrows, boats, old tires, etc. that may hold water.

Eliminate mosquito breeding sites: Reduce standing water around your home and neighborhood (including old tires, bottles, buckets and clogged gutters.) Replace water at least twice a week in pet dishes, bird baths and watering troughs. Repair leaky outside faucets and pipes. Consider mowing or pruning dense vegetation to reduce mosquito habitat. If you live near a vacant building or home with junk vehicles, high grass, and debris, please contact 361-826-CITY to report it to Code Enforcement. Keep window and door screens in good repair. Fill in tree holes with sand and low spots in lawn with soil. Stock permanent water areas with mosquito-feeding fish (Gambusia affinis can be bought in pet stores and bait shops.) Carefully screen rainwater harvesting cisterns to exclude mosquitoes. Use “mosquito dunks” (Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis) to reduce mosquitoes in rain barrels and permanent bodies of water. These products slowly release a biological larvicide that kills the pest. They are readily available and affordable at most home improvement stores Consider installing nesting boxes to attract bats and birds that feed on mosquitoes. Bats are an important part of mosquito combat. Please do not touch or handle bats