Mosquito Control

Mosquito control works to protect the health of Springfield residents by:
  • Advising property owners on how to respond to specific mosquito problems
  • Educating individuals on how to protect against mosquito bites
  • Investigating complaints of standing water on public land
If mosquito larvae are found on public land, the area is treated with mosquito larvicide. Larvicide kills mosquitoes before they have the opportunity to reach adulthood.

Avoiding Mosquito Bites
To avoid mosquito bites:
  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent and follow the instructions on the product label
  • If you're sitting outdoors on your porch or deck, use a fan. This simple tip is highly effective, as mosquitoes are bad fliers and are easily blown away by fans
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when spending time outdoors
  • Stay indoors at sunrise, sunset and early in the evening when mosquitoes are most active, especially if there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect
  • Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however
  • Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight"
  • Completely cover baby carriers and beds with netting
Reducing Mosquito Populations
To reduce the mosquito population:
  • Eliminate mosquito habitats in yards by removing standing water; a mosquito can breed in as little as one teaspoon of standing water
  • Change the water in pet dishes daily
  • Change the water in bird baths every 3 to 4 days
  • Dispose of old tires, cans, wading pools, or any other items that collect water
  • Make sure roof gutters are draining properly
  • Use mosquito-eliminating products according to product labels in standing water, like ponds
  • Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating daily, and elminate standing water from pool covers 
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use
Mosquito "Dunks"
Some local hardware stores may carry a product called Mosquito DunkĀ® that contains a larvicide -- Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) -- for use in areas of standing water around the home. Dunks are commonly used in areas where standing water cannot be simply elminated such as landscaping ponds or rain barrels. If these products are purchased for home use, we recommend careful reading of the hazards label, directions, and details regarding storage and handling.

About DEET
Products with a low concentration of DEET may be appropriate for situations where exposure to mosquitoes is minimal. Higher concentrations of DEET may be useful in highly infested areas or with species that are more difficult to repel. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children should not contain more than 10% DEET. Concentrations of up to 30% DEET have been shown to be acceptable for adults. Where appropriate, consider using non-chemical ways to deter biting insects such as protective clothing (as outlined above), window and door screens, and wearable netting when camping.

A few tips concerning the use of DEET:
  • Use DEET according to manufacturer's directions on the label
  • Store DEET out of reach of children
  • Use caution when using repellents containing DEET on children
  • Do not apply DEET directly on to children. Apply to your own hands and then put it on the child
  • Do not apply on hands or near eyes and mouth of young children
  • Do not allow children to apply repellents themselves
  • As with chemical exposure in general, pregnant women should take care to avoid exposures to repellents when practical
  • Wash all treated skin and clothing with soap and water after returning indoors
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin
  • Depending on the concentration of DEET in a product, it can be effective for approximately 3-6 hours. Avoid prolonged or excessive use of DEET. Use sparingly to cover exposed skin and clothing. Do not apply to skin covered by clothing