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The Ultimate Mosquito Source Checklist 

Smiling man holding a clipboard outdoors.

The best way to reduce mosquito breeding on your property is to limit the number of potential sources.  Check your yard to see how many of these breeding sites you have on your property.  If standing water is found, remove the water, or remove the source.  If the source is not removed, check weekly for standing water to prevent mosquito breeding.

Use this checklist to eliminate all the places that mosquitoes can breed around your home. Remain vigilant and keep containers free of standing water all year long.


  • Any container capable of holding water at least 1/4" deep: Throw away, turn over, empty once a week or drill holes in the bottom.
  • Buckets, watering cans, drinking glasses, styrofoam cups, bottle caps, and other trash: Store inside or turn over. If trash, throw away.
  • Old tires: Dispose of at your local recycling facility. If used for playground equipment, drill holes for water to run out. If on the ground, be sure holes are not blocked by debris.
  • Pet water bowls: Rinse out weekly.
  • Potted plant saucers: Remove them, empty them, flush them out with a hose weekly, or place fine aquarium gravel in them.
  • Tarps or other plastic covers, flexible sandbox covers: Drain water trapped in folds and arrange them so that water runs off.
  • Garbage cans, other barrels, recycling bins, and upturned garbage can lids: Keep cans covered or drill holes in bottom. Keep lid on can or turned so that water runs off. If collecting rainwater, cover with fine mesh screen.


  • Dripping outdoor faucets and window air conditioners: If puddling occurs, repair faucet. Place rocks under window air conditioner to ensure water runs off or fill holes with dirt.
  • Drainage ditch, culvert or other low areas clogged by grass and weed clippings: Remove grass and weed clippings so water can flow and/or drain freely.
  • Gutters, including “covered” types: Clean so that water runs freely.
  • Hollow fence posts without caps: Put caps on open chain link or plastic fence posts.
  • Old playground equipment: Remove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put under cover. Be sure that water drains off.
  • Sump pumps: Cover with fine mesh screening.
  • Under decks, porches, or outbuildings: Cover with fine mesh screening.


  • Base of patio umbrella or portable basketball stand: Fill with sand or, if filled with water, be sure to screw plug on tight. Keep water out of depressions on stand.
  • Bird baths: Dump out once a week or flush out with garden hose.
  • Bromeliads (plants that hold water): Turn plant over to dump water. For plants too large to turn over, flush out cavities with garden hose once a week. Discard or remove from landscaping if possible.
  • Ornamental ponds and fountains: Stock with mosquito fish, apply larvicide or filter/aerate water.
  • Outdoor grills: Keep covered. Be sure vent is closed also.
  • Plastic in gardens to prevent weeds: Use landscape cloth that will allow water to pass through instead of plastic sheets that hold water.
  • Wheelbarrow stored outside: Store upside down when not in use.


  • Portable basketball hoops: Make sure caps for fill holes are in place; replace if lost.
  • Kiddie pools: Empty or change water in kiddie pools every 5-7 days. Store indoors or turn them over when not in use.
  • Sand boxes: Drill small drainage holes on the bottom of the sand box.
  • Toys, wagons, etc.: Keep toys turned over or inside when not in use. If water can get inside the plastic toy, so can a mosquito -- drill drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Deflated toys: Drain off water, dry out, and store indoors when not in use.


  • Boats, canoes: Pump out bilges. Turn over canoes and small boats. If not possible to turn over, dump out after each rain.
  • Jet skis: Rinse out foot depressions with a hose every week.
  • Pool pumps and drains: Check weekly to ensure water is draining from area.
  • Pools, spas, unused or abandoned swimming pools: Turn over kiddie pools when not in use. Contact the District for mosquitofish when swimming pools and spas are in non-operating condition. If draining, use wet/dry vacuum to remove water.
  • Old playground equipment: Remove and dispose of. If it must be stored, put under cover. Be sure water drains off.


  • Flower vase with floral arrangements: Replace water every few days. Scrub interior of vase to eliminate mosquito eggs.
  • Holiday items such as tree stands: Replace water at least once a week and scrub thoroughly before storage.
  • Pet water bowls: Rinse out once a week.
  • Potted plants with saucers: Empty saucers once a week or remove saucers from under plants.
  • Small, decorative fountains or water features: Maintain in operational condition or drain entirely.
  • Standing water in disconnected pipes exposed during home renovations: Temporarily seal disconnected pipes until plumbing system is in working order.
  • Stagnant toilet water: Flush extra water in toilet regularly.
  • Toilet bowl brush holder: Drain water collected on the bottom of container weekly.
  • Under kitchen sink: Keep space beneath sink clear and free of damp.