Mosquito Control During an Outbreak

Why it’s important to kill mosquitoes during an outbreak

When infected adult mosquitoes are spreading a virus to people, acting quickly can stop further spread and prevent more people from getting sick. By using multiple mosquito control methods at the same time, people and communities can help stop an outbreak.

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.

Why it’s important to kill 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.

Related Resources

  • AMCA. 2022. Mosquito Management During a Public Health Emergency [PDF – 43 pages]. American Mosquito Control Association. Sacramento, CA
  • Mosquito Control and Natural Disasters, Journal of American Mosquito Control Association,June 2020, Volume 36, Issue 2s.
  • Lehman JA, Hinckley AF, Kniss KL, Nasci RS, Smith TL, Campbell GL, et al. Effect of Hurricane Katrina on arboviral disease transmission [letter to editor]. Emerg Infect Dis2007;13(8):1273-75.
  • Nasci RS, Moore CG. Vector-borne disease surveillance and natural disasters [commentary]. Emerg Infect Dis1998;4(2):333-34.