To protect yourself from mosquitoes, take the following precautions:

  • Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, or any other containers where water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans and other items that aren't being used so that they do not collect water.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths at least once or twice a week.
  • Empty your pet's water pan daily.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain the water balance of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
  • Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
  • Screen or cover rain barrels and openings to water tanks.

Drainage and Storm Water Pollution

To avoid clogged storm drains and bar ditches,

  • Don't blow leaves into the gutter or street.
  • Don't dump leaves into drainage ditches.

View a complete list of tips to prevent storm water pollution.

Please keep in mind that certain parts of creeks and waterways are not owned by the City of Gainesville, and therefore cannot legally be maintained by the City. Maintenance of these areas should be regularly performed by the property owner to keep the area clean and to prevent mosquito breeding. See more information below about mosquito growth regulation.

Mosquito Growth Regulator and Larvacide

Use larvacide where standing water cannot be removed.

"Mosquito Dunks" are donut-shaped cakes consisting of Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis (Bti), a bacterial spore that produces a toxin specific to mosquito and blackfly larvae when ingested. It's essentially non-toxic to non-target organisms. The only downside is that it must be ingested by mosquito larvae, so it's best used where there are little competing food sources - relatively clean water. It's available at most improvement stores.

Mosquito Dunks

What is a Mosquito Dunk?

A Mosquito Dunk looks like a small, beige donut which floats on standing water. As the Dunk slowly dissolves, it releases a bacterium which is toxic to all species of mosquito larvae. Just float a biodegradable Mosquito Dunk in water troughs, birdbaths, or any place where water collects and remains for periods of time.

What is the active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks?

The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks is Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis. (B.t.i.). B.t.i. is a bacterium that is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things.

How do Mosquito Dunks work?

While floating, a Mosquito Dunk slowly releases a long-term biological mosquito larvicide at the water's surface, then gradually settles in the water, and is eaten by the growing mosquito larvae.

What kinds of mosquito larvae will a Mosquito Dunk kill?

B.t.i. in Mosquito Dunks will kill the larvae of ALL 2,500 SPECIES of mosquitoes.

How much water will one Dunk effectively treat?

One Mosquito Dunk will effectively treat 100 square feet of surface water for 30 days or more. For less water, a portion of a Mosquito Dunk can be used.

Are Mosquito Dunks safe to use around fish, birds, wildlife, pets and children?

Yes. B.t.i., the active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks, is very target specific for mosquitoes .Mosquito Dunks are also safe for use around birds, wildlife, children and pets. The EPA has registered Mosquito Dunks for use in animal watering troughs and fish habitats. Even if your dog eats an entire Mosquito Dunk, this will not adversely affect the animal; it essentially gets a large dose of protein and calcium.

What is the shelf life of Mosquito Dunks?

Government Mosquito Control programs have conducted field tests where Mosquito Dunks of eight years age were effective at killing mosquito larvae at close to equal rate as new product. The best storage condition for Mosquito Dunks is a cool, well-ventilated place.

Pesticides and Insecticides: Usage, Drainage and Disposal

  • Don't water after applying chemicals unless the label tells you to do so.
  • Avoid applying chemicals outdoors when rain is forecast or when it is windy.
  • Don't apply pesticides or fertilizers on paved surfaces.
  • If you can't use up your pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers, consider giving them away.
  • Sewage treatment plants aren't designed to treat for toxic chemicals. Pouring garden chemicals into a storm drain, down the sink, or in the toilet is never an option.

Pesticide and insecticide containers are not accepted at the City of Gainesville Transfer Facility. These items may be accepted at the TASWA Landfill in Whitesboro, Texas. For questions, please call (903) 564-1290 or visit their website.

Remember the 4 D's of West Nile Virus Prevention

  1. Dusk to Dawn
  2. Dress
  3. Drain
  4. DEET
Common Backyard Mosquito Sources