Do Mosquitoes Love Your Home and Yard?

Mosquitoes are small flying insects that feed on human and animal blood or plant juices. Only female mosquitoes bite to get a blood meal for their growing eggs. Mosquitoes usually are considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit disease.

There are about 70 species of mosquitoes in New York State. Several species can transmit eastern equine encephalitis (EEE, "triple E") and West Nile virus (WNV). EEE and WNV are viral infections that can cause serious illness and even death.

Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in even small amounts of standing water around the home. Eggs can develop in any standing water that remains more than four days. Many mosquitoes breed in discarded tires. Weeds, tall grass and shrubbery provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes. Mosquitoes also can enter houses, apartments and buildings through unscreened windows and doors or through broken screens. Some mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn when the air is calm and the females are most likely to bite. However, other mosquitoes will feed at any time of the day.

Take these steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home:

  • Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard;
  • Remove discarded tires and turn over containers in which water can collect;
  • Make sure all windows and doors have screens; and
  • Make sure screens are free of rips, tears and holes.

How many breeding sites can you find?

How many breeding sites can you find?

For more information, contact your local health department or email the New York State Health Department at

Publication 2747, Revised 5/2012