Every summer there are new horror stories about mosquito-borne illnesses such as equine encephalitis, malaria and West Nile virus. But there are steps you can take to help keep mosquitoes at bay near your home this summer. Mosquitoes require an Mosquitoes aquatic habitat for the egg, larval and pupal forms of their development to occur. By simply removing water resources in which mosquitoes may develop, you can help make your yard and neighborhood mosquito-free. Here are 15 ways to help keep mosquitoes away from your home:

1. Don’t overwater your yard and garden. Standing water becomes a source for mosquito eggs to be deposited and to develop.
2. Empty bird baths at least once a week and replenish water.
3. Remove standing water from potted plant saucers.
4. Change pet dish water once a week.
5. Change water in kiddie pools or fountains at least once a week.
6. Make sure trash can lids are on cans and not turned over to serve as water reservoirs.
7. Clean gutters on house and make sure water is flowing properly away from home.
8. Fill in mud puddles.
9. Grade land so water moves away from the house and yard.
10. Check tree holes and stumps in yard for standing water.
11. Make sure tire swings and any old tires are emptied of standing water in the yard.
12. Rain barrels for catching rainwater should be screened at the surface to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
13. Cover all trash and recycle receptacles with tight-fitting lids to prevent water inside.
14. Add bubblers or fountains to small decorative lakes or fish ponds to keep the water surface constantly rippling so that mosquito larvae are drowned at the surface.
15. Keep swimming pools drained or covered during off months, and treated properly during the summer season.

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