Mosquitoes are small (1/8 inch to 1/4 inches), brown, biting flies with one pair of scaly wings and long, segmented legs. Females use their tube-like proboscis to bite people and animals and feed on blood. These bites can cause an itchy allergic reaction and also transmit human diseases like zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, chikungunya virus and dengue fever. They can also spread heartworm in dogs and Eastern equine encephalitis to horses. There are about 200 unique species of mosquito in the United States, and all of them need standing water to reproduce.
To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, keep doors and windows closed and make sure window screens are in good condition. Outdoors, eliminate standing water – which mosquitoes need to reproduce – in flower pots, old tires, ornamental ponds, children's wading pools, buckets, pails, and low areas in the lawn and garden. When you’re outdoors at peak times of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn), wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use a personal repellent to repel mosquitoes.