Controlling Mosquitos In Your Back Yard

Mosquitoes are a public health concern, as they can transmit diseases to humans, their pets, and their livestock. Common mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. include West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, LaCross encephalitis, and dog heartworm. Mosquitoes do NOT transmit HIV/AIDS. For more detailed information, visit SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control's Mosquito website.


Protect yourself! Put a barrier between you and mosquitoes, such as window screens (keep in good repair) and mosquito-proof clothing and bedding. If you're going to be outdoors, use insect repellent and avoid common hiding places such as high grass and dense underbrush. Avoid wearing perfume and scented products and wear light-colored clothing.

All mosquitoes need water to pass their early life stages. Only female mosquitoes bite, as they need a blood meal to produce eggs. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water-filled containers, permanent standing water, and floodplains that are occasionally inundated by floodwaters. In general, water must be standing for 7-10 days to produce mosquitoes.


The most common breeding sites for mosquitoes near homes is water-filled containers. Mosquito larvae do not survive in flowing water and natural predators limit mosquito breeding in ponds, lakes, and even ditches. Examples of common containers that produce mosquitoes around homes are: play or ornamental pools, buckets, boats, bags and tarps, birdbaths, clogged gutters, and yard drains. For example, recently in our region, a plastic grocery bag harbored 3,000 mosquito larvae.

To eliminate breeding sites around your home or place of business, look for any place that standing water can collect. Empty water-filled containers regularly, such as pet dishes or birdbaths. Turn containers upside down or remove them from exposure to rain.

If you experience a mosquito problem, try these strategies first. If this does not solve the problem, contact the Stormwater Hotline at 843-381-8000.