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Worried about mosquitoes? Here are 10 ways to fight the bites!

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

Even though Arizona is a desert, mosquitoes can thrive here and takeaway from your early-evening enjoyment outside.

In addition to being a bit of an irritant, they can unfortunately spread disease to humans, which is often a concern of homeowners.

Among mosquito-borne illnesses are the West Nile virus, encephalitis and dengue fever. This year, there’s a new threat carried by mosquitoes — the Zika virus from Brazil.

As Zika is a relatively new concern, we wanted to research for you to help you protect your home. Here are 10 things you can do to help reduce mosquitoes in and around your home – along with precautions from Arizona and federal officials for preventing mosquito problems in our state:

  1. Drain birdbaths, pet water bowls and animal watering troughs at least weekly.
  2. Repair water leaks, sprinkler systems or other devices that lead to ponding of water.
  3. Remove vegetation and floating debris on ponds and stagnant swimming pools.
  4. You can add mosquito-eating fish to ponds. The fish are available free from the Maricopa County Vector Control office.
  5. Fill in low spots in your yard and drain buckets and other containers that might collect water.
  6. Clean up debris in your neighborhood; check for open septic tanks, tin cans and old tires.
  7. In a housing community with ponds – like a golf course subdivision – ask about how and when standing water is treated for mosquitoes. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for larvae to mature and adult mosquitoes to emerge.
  8. Check your window screens for tears and gaps.
  9. Turn on air conditioning and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in the evenings and at night. Make sure children stay covered. Even lightweight clothing can deter mosquitoes.
  10. Use DEET mosquito repellent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Follow directions carefully, especially if you want to put repellent on a child. DEET should not be used on babies less than two months old.

For more tips and information for all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at, Arizona’s most trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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