South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District goes to great lengths to combat the breeding of the mosquito population by attacking them at the larva and adult stages of their life-cycle.
As much as we work to control the mosquito population, you can also help by policing your yard for mosquito breeding grounds, reporting dead birds and utilizing personal protective measures such as a mosquito repellent for your own personal safety.
Following these tips will help to protect you, your partner, your family, your friends, and your community from Zika and other mosquito borne diseases. The more steps you take, the more protected you are.
If you are caring for a family member or friend with Zika, take steps to protect yourself from exposure to the person’s blood and body fluids.
Control mosquitoes outside your home
Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
- Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
- For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
- Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
- If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
Kill mosquitoes outside your home
- Use an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
- Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
Control mosquitoes inside your home
Keep mosquitoes out
- Install or repair and use window and door screens. Do not leave doors propped open.
- Use air conditioning when possible.
Kill mosquitoes inside your home
- Kill mosquitoes inside your home. Use an indoor insect fogger* or indoor insect spray* to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions. Only using insecticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes.
- Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under the sink, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.
Personal mosquito protection
Use Insect Repellent
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below.
When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
EPA approved insect repellents:
- Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
Tips for babies and children
- Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
- Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.
There is no known or proven natural insect repellents that are EPA approved.
To protect yourself against diseases spread by mosquitoes, CDC and EPA recommend using an EPA-registered insect repellent.