Reviewed by Laura Martin on August 16, 2016

Sources

CDC: "Zika, Mosquitoes, and Standing Water," "Controlling Mosquitoes at Home," " Build a Zika Prevention Kit."; EPA: "Remove Mosquito Habitats."; New Jersey Department of Health: "Mosquito-Proof Your Yard."

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Video Transcript

DR. MICHAEL SMITH: Between their itchy bites and their ability to carry diseases, mosquitoes are houseguests nobody wants. To really yank the welcome mat out from under them, get rid of any standing water around your home. You'll be taking away the soggy spots where they like to lay their eggs.

First, look around for things that can collect water -- anything from rain gutters to furniture covers to flowerpot saucers and old tires. Check once a week to see if water's pooling in them.

Depending on the item, you could empty and scrub it, cover it, or remove debris that's causing a clog. You could even dust off your power tools and drill holes in the bottom of containers like garbage cans and recycle bins to let the rain water drain.

If your home has features where water's a must, no sweat. Have a swimming pool? Just keep the water treated and circulating.

Birdbath or fountain? Change the water at least once a week. And if you're dealing with standing water you can't cover or dump out, you could use treatment tabs that kill mosquito larvae. Now, don't put them in water you might swallow, and follow the directions closely.

Take these steps, and hopefully the bugs will be more likely to buzz off. For WebMD, I'm Dr. Michael Smith.