Buzz Off! Four ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Reprinted from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

West Nile virus. Chikungunya. Dengue fever. Zika. These mosquito-transmitted diseases are four good reasons to make repelling mosquitoes a priority. Below are some tips, based on the four Ds, to reduce your chance of that next mosquito bite.

Drain or dump

Drain or dump any standing water around your home: Clean out leaf-filled gutters; dump bird baths and flower pot drain dishes every week; and store buckets, toys, wading pools, wagons, and wheel barrows so they do not catch and hold water; and screen rain barrels and cisterns to keep out mosquitoes.


Dress to discourage mosquito bites. When you’ll be outdoors for an extended period, wear long pants and loose fitting, long-sleeve shirts. Fabrics with tight weave usually work better than knits or other loosely woven materials.

Day, dusk and dark

Day, dusk and dark. Some kinds of mosquitoes are active at any time, day or night. West Nile virus mosquitoes are active from dusk to dawn; but mosquitoes that carry Zika and chikungunya are active in shady areas all day. Mosquitoes can bite anytime the temperature rises above 55°F.


DEET or another mosquito repellent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is your best defense if you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active.