Your best bet for preventing West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate standing water, where mosquitoes breed.

  • Unclog roof gutters.
  • Empty unused swimming pools or empty standing water on pool covers.
  • Change water in birdbaths and pet bowls regularly.
  • Remove old tires or unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.

To reduce your exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as at dawn, dusk and early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — the higher the percentage (concentration) of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will work. Follow the directions on the package, paying special attention to recommendations for use on children.
  • When outside, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.
Dec. 16, 2015
  1. West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  2. Petersen LR. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  3. Petersen LR. Treatment and prevention of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.