What You Can Do to Control Mosquitoes During an Outbreak

Key points

  • Quick action can help stop infected mosquitoes from spreading germs to people during an outbreak.
  • People and communities can work together to reduce numbers of mosquitoes during an outbreak.
  • Local government and mosquito control districts direct large-scale mosquito control activities.
  • People can protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Photo showing a person dumping standing water to remove places where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Why it's important

When infected adult mosquitoes are spreading a virus to people, acting quickly can

  • Stop further spread
  • Prevent more people from getting sick

By using multiple mosquito control methods at the same time, people and communities can help stop an outbreak.

Truck mounted ultra-low volume sprayer in action.
A mosquito control truck sprays insecticides or larvicides.

Everyone can control mosquitoes

Local government departments and mosquito control districts take the lead for large-scale mosquito control activities to immediately kill infected adult mosquitoes. You can also take steps to help protect yourself, your family, and your community.

Control mosquitoes at home‎

Take steps to control nuisance mosquitoes and mosquitoes that can spread germs and make people sick.

During an outbreak

Table: How to control mosquitoes during an outbreak
Mosquito Control Activity Why Activity is Important What Local Government Departments or Mosquito Control Districts Do What You and Pest Control Professionals Can Do
Use a product that kills adult mosquitoes. Adulticides are the only way to immediately kill infected adult mosquitoes and stop the spread of viruses. Depending on the size of the area, use backpack sprayers, trucks, or airplanes to apply adulticides. Apply adulticides according to label instructions to kill mosquitoes inside and outside homes.
Prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs and eggs from hatching. Mosquitoes lay eggs in or near water. Mosquitoes can complete their life cycle in about a week.
  • Collect and dispose of abandoned tires and roadside trash.
  • Clean up and maintain public spaces like parks and greenways.
Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw away items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flower pot saucers, and trash containers.
Use larvicides to stop mosquito larvae from becoming adults. Larvicides kill mosquito larvae present in water. Killing larvae reduces numbers of adult mosquitoes that could become infected and spread germs.
  • Treat standing water or storage containers in public places.
  • Treat standing water on private property as part of a neighborhood cleanup or mosquito control campaign.
  • Apply larvicides according to label instructions to items like fountains, septic tanks, and pool covers that hold water.
  • Do not treat water that will be used for drinking.


Fact sheet

Mosquito Control During an Outbreak