Mosquito Information & Prevention
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Residents are encouraged to assist in reducing mosquito populations around their homes and businesses by removing trash and clutter; disposing of discarded tires and containers that can hold water; and turning over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
For current West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis risk levels, please visit the DPH updates page.
- Reduce mosquito exposure by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
- Use air-conditioning and make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
- If outside for long periods of time, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- The CDC recommends using repellents containing EPA-registered active ingredients including DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
- When using repellent, always follow the recommendations on the product label.
Protecting Your Home and Business
- Eliminate standing water around your home, where mosquitoes breed.
- Remove trash and clutter, dispose of discarded tires and containers that can hold water. Turn over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
- Change water weekly in containers that cannot be removed, such as pet dishes or bird baths. Scrub the side of the containers each week to remove the eggs that have been deposited.
- Rain barrels and other water collection devices must be screened and collected water should be used within one week.
- Aerate ornamental pools, fountains and sugar kettles or stock them with fish.
- Report illegal dumping, water leaks and unattended swimming pools.
- Tires are easily filled with water by rain and collect leaf litter, providing an ideal breeding site for mosquito larvae. Eliminating scrap tire dumps will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat.
Mosquito & Disease
What you need to know about diseases transmitted by mosquitoes
West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are serious diseases caused by a virus transmitted through the bite of a mosquito.
You can reduce your chances of getting a mosquito borne disease by avoiding being outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long pants and shirts when you are outdoors and using a bug repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, or a oil of lemon eucalyptus, according to the instruction given on the product label.
Addition tips to help protect yourself and your family are; keep your yard free of any standing water by emptying unused wading pools or containers that might collect rainwater, change water in bird baths and pet bowls frequently, install screens in doors and windows and check roof gutters and remove any debris that may prevent drainage of rainwater.
Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than 4 days.
For more information, please visit Massachusetts Department of Public Health website or call the Northampton Department of Health & Human Services at (413) 587-1214.