//Mosquito Breeding Prevention

Mosquito Breeding Prevention

It is the responsibility of the property owner to prevent mosquito breeding sources on their property. In the event a breeding source is found, the owner must remove the problem and take steps to prevent the recurrence of breeding. The immature stages of the mosquito (egg, larva, pupa) develop in standing water. It takes seven to ten days from the time a mosquito lays her eggs, until 100 to 400 larvae (wrigglers) begin their life, possibly in your backyard. The size of the container of water doesn’t matter, as mosquito larvae and pupae are small.

Where to Look and What to Do

At Home

If you need assistance or have questions about a mosquito breeding source around your home, contact your local code enforcement agency.

Concrete or Above Ground Swimming Pools

  • Chlorine will not always kill mosquito larvae.
  • If pool cover is used, keep it tightly sealed.
  • Remove rain water from top of pool cover.
  • Stock unused or “out-of-order” pools with mosquito fish.

Plastic Wading Pools

  • Change water every week.
  • Store indoors or upside down when not in use.

Ornamental Ponds

  • Stock with fish.
  • Avoid spraying with garden insect sprays.
  • Remove leaves and thin out plants.
  • Keep water level up.
  • Screen inlet of recirculation pump.
  • Transfer fish to glass bowl when cleaning pond because chlorine kills fish.
  • If pond is no longer desired, break holes in the bottom and fill with dirt or sand.


  • Prevent accumulation of sprinkler or rainwater.
  • Store small boats upside down or cover to keep out the rain and water from your sprinklers.

Animal Water Troughs

  • Stock large troughs with mosquito fish.
  • Clean small troughs every week.

Containers (cans, jars, barrels, old tires, buckets, tubs, etc.)

  • Remove and dispose of all unused containers that will collect rain water or water from your sprinklers.
  • Home gardeners rooting plant cuttings in vases, buckets, etc. should change water every week.
  • Usable containers should be stacked upside down.

Other Sources of Standing Water

  • Under the house
  • Repair leaking plumbing
  • Prevent seepage from garden irrigation
  • Divert storm water away from foundations
  • At drain outlet from air conditioner
  • Keep rain gutters clean and free of debris so water drains properly.

In the Community

Contact your local code enforcement office if you see any standing or green water in the community, such as:

Natural Sources

  • Marshes
  • Rain pools
  • Ravines

Agricultural Sources

  • Excess irrigation drainage water
  • Water standing in pastures and irrigation ditches

Community or Industrial Sources

  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • Storm drainage channels
  • Street drains
  • Improperly drained golf courses
  • Abandoned tires
  • Green fountains or pools

Fish Help Prevent Mosquitoes

Most fish eat mosquito larvae and are useful in keeping ornamental ponds free of mosquitoes. Gambusia affinis, called “mosquito fish,” eat mosquito larvae as fast as they hatch from the eggs laid by the mosquito. Mosquito fish are used to stock mosquito breeding sources, such as:

  • Ornamental ponds
  • Unused or “out-of-order”
  • Animal water troughs
  • Pools of standing water
  • Waste water
  • Disposal lagoons
  • Natural creeks
  • Drainage channels

They require no special feeding, and care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays and from chlorine or chemicals used to clean the pond. Mosquito fish do not lay eggs, but give birth to well developed and very active young. They breed throughout the summer and a new brood is produced at intervals of about four to six weeks. Approximately 100 young are in a single brood, each about one-half inch in total length when born. They are ready to begin the work of destroying mosquito larvae at once. Gambusia grows rapidly, reaching a maximum size of about 2 inches. The earliest broods of the season, born in April and May, become sexually mature and produce young when 4 to 5 months old. Please contact our office at (702) 759-1633 to pick some fish up for free.

Contact Information

Phone: (702) 759-1633

Updated on: April 22, 2019

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