Some species of mosquitoes are able to transmit diseases to humans. Female mosquitoes feed on the blood of humans and other animals. If a mosquito is infected with a disease like West Nile virus, there is a potential that they spread that disease to the animals they feed on.
To reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood, you should eliminate the places where mosquitoes breed. Mosquitoes reproduce by laying eggs on standing water and they can develop in any standing water that lasts more than four days. Even a small bucket with standing water can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes. Reducing mosquitoes at home:
- Keep all buckets and cans of water empty and change the water in wading pools every other day.
- Keep swimming pools maintained by proper chlorination and working equipment.
- Keep rain gutters cleared of debris.
- Keep vegetation in and around ornamental ponds thinned.
- Consider adding a water feature to your pond since immature mosquitoes cannot breathe in moving water.
- Make sure rain barrels are designed so mosquitoes cannot enter.
- Talk to with neighbors about mosquito prevention tips.
Best Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Install or repair all window and door screens.
- Consider staying indoors during peak mosquito biting times, from dusk to dawn.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
- Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors for long periods of time.
- Use a mosquito repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET (a chemical used as insect repellent) for adults and no more than 10 percent for children when outdoors. Do not use mosquito repellent containing DEET on children under three years of age. Read carefully and follow all directions on the insect repellent package.
- Hunters should wear gloves when handling and cleaning animals to prevent blood exposure to bare hands. Game meat should be cooked thoroughly.
- Limit outdoor activities when advised by local officials
If you have an ornamental pond or pool, mosquitofish may help to control mosquitoes. Mosquitofish, also known as Gambusia, are small predatory fish that eat mosquito larvae. Read the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s guidance on mosquitofish
Multnomah County residents can get free mosquitofish from May 15-August 30. Pick up your fish from Multnomah County Vector Control (5235 N Columbia Blvd, Portland). Call us at 503-988-3464 for more information and hours.
Most of the mosquitoes in our area fall into one of 3 categories:
Summer mosquitoes. Summer mosquitoes will lay eggs on standing water in natural environments or manmade. These mosquitoes include Culex, Culiseta and Anophoeles species.
Need Help Talking to Your Neighbor?
If you feel there's mosquito problem coming from your neighbor's property, you may want to consider first addressing your neighbor or the property owner on a personal, neighbor-to-neighbor basis. A neighborhood mediator from Resolutions Northwest can help you to have productive a conversation and work out peaceful solution.
Multnomah County Vector Control
5235 N Columbia Blvd