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West Nile Virus - Standing Water

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne illness that can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Reducing mosquito populations helps reduce the spread of WNV and other infections spread by mosquitoes.

Why should we be concerned about stagnant water?

It can take only 4 days for stagnant water to become the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This is why eliminating these potential breeding sites is the primary control measure in reducing mosquito populations.

What can I do to eliminate mosquitoes around my home?

  • remove unused objects, garbage or refuse that could collect stagnant water (tires, flowerpots, etc.)
  • when not in use, turn over items such as wading pools, recycling boxes, wheelbarrows and boats/canoes
  • clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Cover if not in use
  • weekly draining of water that collects on pool covers, window boxes, flower pots, etc.
  • weekly changing of water in wading pools, bird baths and pet food/water dishes
  • aerate ornamental ponds, or stock self-contained ponds with mosquito-eating fish (goldfish, koi, etc.)
  • cover rainwater barrels with a fine mesh or screen
  • do not wash grass clippings or leaves down roadside catch basins
  • turn compost over on a regular basis
  • do regular landscape maintenance of weeds, tall grasses and shrubs
  • regular maintenance of roof gutters to prevent clogging
  • ensure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens and are in good repair
  • remind or help neighbours to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their property

For more information on mosquito prevention see the Region of Durham Health Department website.