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Non-Toxic Anopheles Quadrimaculatus Control

Non-Toxic Mosquito Control Fact Sheet

Reducing Mosquito Populations In Your Own Back Yard

Mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of slow moving or still water. Their first two stages of a mosquito’s life are dependent on water, without it they can not breed. Therefore the first step in controlling mosquitoes is to eliminate standing water. Water without predators to eat the larva, such as a simple puddle, is a prime breeding site, whereas fast moving rivers and streams are not.

An inch of rain water at the bottom of a coffee cup that was left outdoors can produce 1 000 mosquitoes every 7 days! Since mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, even very small quantities of water, remove any possible breeding areas where mosquitoes could lay eggs by:

  • roll old tires, cut them in half or recycle them (this is the #1 mosquito breeding spot!);
  • recycling/disposing of unwanted containers;
  • storing items indoors or in a closed shed;
  • draining water regularly from rain barrels, flower pots, window boxes and planters ;
  • checking swimming pool or boat covers for standing water;
  • fix leaky outdoor faucets and sprinklers;
  • making sure your eavestroughs are clean, with no debris and that they both flow and drain properly;
  • changing the water in bird baths at least once a week;
  • drilling holes in the bottom of recycling and trash containers, and children's tire swings;
  • turning over wheelbarrows, canoes and plastic wading pools to drain standing water;
  • encouraging children to bring their toys indoors every night;
  • drain unwanted puddles and pools or fill them with dirt;

Once you’ve eliminated all the standing water on your property talk to your friends and neighbours about these non-toxic ways to reduce mosquito populations. Call car recycling facilities, mechanics, tire stores and scrapyards to ask about how they are storing old tires and encourage them to have them recycled. Tire recycling firms are paid generally about 2$/tire to pick up old tires, so helping neighbourhood scrap yards raise money to have the tires recycled is a also an option.

If you have standing water such as a reflecting pond, rainwater bucket or irrigation system, that you don’t want to eliminate consider adding predators to the pond to eat mosquito larvae such as mosquito fish, minnows, killifish or goldfish with priority always given to native species.

If you add predators to your pond remember that they have predators too so you will likely be required to build some kind of ledge, or bridge over the pond which allows the fish to hide from raccoons and skunks. Make sure NOT to introduce foreign species like goldfish to natural ponds.

Also consider ways of warding off adult mosquitoes that did come to be.

  • Many herbs repel mosquitoes such as cedarwood, garlic, lemongrass, frankincense, cinnamon, geranium, eucalyptus, basil, rosemary, cloves, peppermint, lemon balm, onions, feverfew, thyme and marigold repel mosquitoes.

To mix your own repellent add 7-10 drops of essential oil to 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil. These essential oils are quite strong and can bother individuals with chemical sensitivities, pregnant women should consult with their doctor about the use of any essential oil.

  • Replace outdoor incandescent lights with a yellow ‘bug light’ which are less likely to attract mosquitoes.
  • Wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants when outdoors especially from dusk until dawn. Loose clothing made of thicker materials make it most difficult for mosquitoes to bite.
  • If possible spend more time on screened in porches than open porches.


Alameda Co. Mosquito Abatement District. Undated, Are you raising mosquitoes in your backyard?

Beyond Pesticides. 2002. Least Toxic Control of Pests In the Home & Garden: A series of pest control & chemical factsheets. Washington, D.C.,Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. 2002. West Nile virus basics.

Health Canada. 2002. West Nile Virus – What’s being done to reduce the risk.

McKinney, Deanna. 2002. Meeting the Challenge of West Nile Virus Without Poisons. Journal of Pesticide Reform. Winter 22 (4): 2-8.

Olkowski, W., S. Daar & H. Olkowski. 1991. Common Sense Pest Control: Least-toxic solutions for your home, garden, pets and community. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press.

Peterson, L.R. & A.A. Marfin. 2002. West Nile virus: A primer for the clinician. Annals of Internal Medicine. 137(3): 173-179.

Peterson, L.R., Roehrig, J.T. & Hughes, J.M. New England Journal of Medicine. 347 (16): 1225-1226.

Soares, George G. Jr. 1980. An integrated pest management approach for mosquito control. Draft. The John Muir Institute.

Swadener, Carrie. 1994. Community mosquito control. Journal of Pesticide Reform. 14 (2): 37-39.

U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticide Programs. 2002. Mosquitoes: How to control them.


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