The following information is taken from the
Washington Department of Health and Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
How Can I Protect Myself?
There is no human vaccine for West Nile Virus.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is
to avoid mosquito bites and reduce places where
mosquitoes live and breed around your home. Here are
several steps you can take to protect yourself and
Avoid the Bite
- Make sure windows and doors are "bug
tight." Repair or replace torn screens.
Consider adding screens to doors and windows
that are often left open.
- Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, if
possible, when mosquitoes are the most
- Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants,
and a hat when going into areas with
mosquitoes, such as wetlands or woods.
- Use mosquito
repellant when necessary. Read the label and
carefully follow instructions. Take special
care when using repellent on children (see
Mosquito Repellent Fact Sheet).
Don't Give Mosquitoes a Home
like to lay their eggs in standing water and
have adapted to a wide variety of habitats
including ponds, marshes, tree holes, and
containers such as tires. Larvae are rarely
found in deep water lakes and ponds or in
flowing water such as streams or rivers. Larvae
generally take four to ten days to hatch. For
additional information, see
Mosquitoes often stay within a mile of their
breeding site, so it is important for you and
your neighbors to reduce as many mosquito
breeding areas as possible. The following
illustration identifies areas around your home
where mosquitoes are likely to breed.
- Change stagnant birdbath water at
least twice a week — also fountains and
- Clear storm drains and gutters of
leaves and lawn cuttings — water that
does not flow freely can harbor mosquito
- Fill in low-lying areas that puddle
— particularly spots that collect water
after watering, such as in lawns and
gardens. Do not overwater; be sure that
timed watering systems are working
- Clean clogged roof gutters to allow
- Maintain ponds and ditches —
stagnant water provides breeding areas
for mosquitoes. See
Maintaining Your Stormwater Pond
Go with the Flow: Leave the Ditch or
Swale Alone, Thurston County
Resource Stewardship. Also see
FAQs, for additional questions on
ponds and wetland areas.
- Repair torn window/door screens,
keep attic vents closed — openings allow
mosquitoes into your home.
- Tarps and covers collect water,
empty right away — particularly pool
covers, boat tarps.
- Place toys and other objects under
cover — don't leave out in the open to
- Empty anything that holds standing
water — old tires, buckets, empty
containers, and flower pot dishes. Drill
holes in bottoms of containers or turn
over when not in use. Culex pipiens,
which can transmit WNV, prefers polluted
waters and small containers in which to
- Fix leaky outdoor faucets and