Healthy Homes - Mosquitoes



While they can be a nuisance when enjoying outdoor activities, mosquitoes can also spread many illnesses that negatively impact people including West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, and Zika virus.

Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and at dawn. Be more vigilant during outdoor activities at these times. Windy conditions make it difficult for mosquitoes to move around and locate their prey.  People give off carbon dioxide which attracts mosquitoes.  Fans can be helpful in deterring mosquitoes. Wearing light-colored, loose fitting clothes (long pants and sleeves) can help protect you when you are outside in areas where mosquitoes are found.  Mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothes.  If you choose to use an insect repellent, be sure that it is an EPA-registered repellent and has the warning "USE ONLY AS DIRECTED" written  on the package.

Controlling Mosquitoes 

The most efficient method of controlling mosquitoes is by reducing the availability of water suitable for reproduction and growth. Large lakes, ponds, and streams that have waves, contain mosquito-eating fish, and lack aquatic vegetation around their edges do not contain mosquitoes; mosquitoes thrive in smaller bodies of water in protected places. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Even small amounts of water, like in the base of a flower pot, are enough for mosquitoes to become biting adults.  Clean up around your homes, yards and communities and discard unnecessary items that can hold water.  Remove standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.    Following a rain event, TIP n’ TOSS any water standing in containers near your home. 


Make sure drain pipes slope downward and away from your home. Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning when possible. Install or repair and use window and door screens. 


Bats eat 600-1,000 insects an hour.  One bat can eat thousands of mosquitoes a night. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has more information on bats and building your own bat house.  


Additional resources

University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension
Mosquito Control Around Homes  

Tennessee Department of Health
Environmental Health Topics - Pesticides
Vector-Borne/Zoonotic Diseases