Nobody likes mosquito bites. When mosquitoes bite people, the most common reactions are itching and swelling. However, some mosquito bites can spread germs that can make you sick. That's why it's important to prevent bites!
How to Prevent Mosquito-related Illnesses
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks when outdoors.
- Wear insect repellent containing active ingredients approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Visit the EPA's Inspect Repellent Search Tool for help in finding the right insect repellent for your needs. Spray clothing with repellent, as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Read repellent labels carefully and follow instructions.
Take steps to control mosquitoes in and around your home:
- Use screens in windows and doors. Repair any holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so get rid of of standing or still sources of water around your home and yard.
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard. Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly. Clean gutters so water can flow freely. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season. Change the water in pet dishes, horse troughs, birdbaths, and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
More Information on Mosquito-related Illnesses
What Do We Do About Mosquitos?
The Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) works to track mosquito-related illness in our community. We help community members by sharing information and answering questions about mosquito-related illnesses.
As funding and capacity allow, we do surveillance work to monitor mosquito-related illness. This work involves identifying habitats for mosquito species of interest and trapping mosquitoes. After sorting and identifying the mosquitoes, we send target species to the state for testing. Our goal is to provide data on the presence and prevalence of local mosquito vectors. This can provide early warning of increased EEE, WNV, and Zika risk locally.
In 2022, WCHD conducted mosquito trapping at 10 sites throughout Washtenaw. If you come across a trap while you’re enjoying the outdoors, please don’t touch it!
WCHD intern Sarah on her way out to check mosquito traps (2019).