Our Water Our World: Controlling Mosquitoes Around Your Home

Learn how to control mosquitoes with these tips from the City of Goleta Environmental Services Division.

Mosquitoes are insects that are usually seen as a pest to humans because they can cause bug bites or transmit diseases. However, for aquatic ecosystems, they are beneficial because mosquitoes provide food for fish and other aquatic creatures. Mosquitoes are out at any time of the day, with some only out during daylight and others only out at night.

Did You Know?

  • Only adult female mosquitoes bite humans and animals because they need blood to produce eggs
  • Adult mosquitos, both male and female, feed on plant nectar for energy
  • Mosquitofish are non-native predators of young mosquitoes, but they also feed on several threatened and endangered species, so they must never be released into a natural water body

What Can You Do?

Different methods can be used to control mosquitoes around your home such as using barriers and wearing protective clothing. Because mosquitoes can breed in any amount of standing water, the most effective method to control mosquitoes is to remove standing water around your home. If you suspect mosquitoes are breeding in your nearby storm drain, then call your mosquito and vector control district.

  • Frequently change water for standing water that cannot be avoided. If you do have standing water around your home, such as a bird bath or pet water dish, change it every 2-3 days.
  • Fix water leaks. Leaky pipes can form standing water, so make sure to fix any leaks.
  • Remove hollow objects. Properly store or remove objects around your home, such as tires, that can collect water.
  • Clean roof gutters. Roof gutters should be frequently cleaned of debris, so water does not collect due to clogged gutters.
  • Keep pools covered or filters running. Cover pools, including plastic wading pools, and hot tubs when not in use or keep your pool and hot tub filters running. 
  • Install barriers. Use screens on windows or doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Wear protective clothing. Wear long pants and sleeves to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Use insect repellent. Use a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended repellent and reapply insect repellent every 3-4 hours.
  • Keep light to a minimum near doors. Some mosquitoes are attracted to light, so keep outdoor light to a minimum, especially near your entry or backyard door. 
  • Properly remove yard waste. Place yard waste in the proper trash bin as some mosquitoes feed on decaying organic matter.
  • Avoid bug zappers. Bug zappers kill more beneficial and neutral insects than mosquitoes, so using a bug zapper is not recommended. 

Find more information on controlling mosquitos with eco-friendly products in our OWOW brochures in English and Spanish

The City of Goleta along with the Cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and the County of Santa Barbara have partnered with the OWOW organization to promote the use of less-toxic products in an effort to reduce pesticide pollution in our communities. By reducing pesticide use and the use of less-toxic products around the home, you can help reduce pesticides and other pollutants such as herbicides and fertilizers from being picked up while watering or when it rains and transported to the nearest storm drain inlet and into our waterways. The OWOW website is a great resource for finding less-toxic products to use around your home or garden.