Mosquito Control & Other Vectors
Physical Control

Vegetation management on roadside drainage ditch

Joint effort drain at Lodi Wilderness area

Draining water from containers stops mosquito development

Physical control, also known as source reduction or habitat modification, is another form of control utilized in the District’s IPM plan. Physical control is usually the most effective of the mosquito control techniques available and is accomplished by eliminating, or significantly reducing, mosquito breeding sites. The primary operational objective of physical control is to reduce the mosquito carrying capacity of a source to preclude the use of control methods that would adversely impact the environment and wildlife. This can be as simple as properly discarding old containers which hold water or as complex as developing a regional drain system for storm water. Physical control is important in that its use can virtually eliminate the need for pesticide use in and adjacent to the affected habitat.

There are many types of mosquito breeding sources in San Joaquin County capable of being reduced by physical control techniques. Generally, only man-made or managed mosquito sources are considered for physical control. Following is a representative listing of mosquito breeding sources and recommendations for physical control:

 • Artificial containers, such as flowerpots, cans, barrels, and tires. Mosquito species found in these types of artificial containers include Culex pipiens, Culex stigmatosoma, Culex tarsalis, Culiseta incidens, and Culiseta inornata. A container breeding mosquito problem can be solved by properly disposing of such materials, covering them or tipping them over to ensure that they do not collect water.

• Agricultural, industrial, and municipal storm water and waste ponds and retention basins. Mosquito species found in these types of sources are generally Culex pipiens, Culex stigmatosoma, and to a lesser degree, Culex tarsalis. Pond management options which are effective in controlling mosquitoes include periodic draining, providing deep water sanctuary for larvivorous fish, minimizing emergent and standing vegetation, and maintaining steep banks.

• Irrigated agriculture lands. Almost all of the 17 local mosquito species are found in these sources. Proper water management, land preparation, and adequate drainage are the most effective means of physically controlling mosquitoes in these types of sources. The District provides technical assistance to landowners that are interested in reducing mosquitoes by developing drainage systems on certain lands.


  • Over - irrigated pastures
  • Tail water collection sites
  • Corral wash water / manure water
  • Gondolas and other crop containers
  • Water troughs
  • Waste lagoons
  • Feeding Corrals
  • Barrels, drums, tires
  • Neglected swimming pools & hot tubs
  • Ornamental Ponds
  • Leaking & broken pipes / faucets
  • Clogged rain gutters
  • Bird baths, wheel barrels
  • Tires, buckets, flower pots
  • Boats

Links to mosquito prevention guidelines for households, agriculture, stormwater treatment devices, wastewater treatment wetlands, and managed freshwater wetlands:

For comprehensive information about mosquito control in California: “Best Management Practices for Mosquito Control in California”

For general information about mosquitoes and mosquito control around the home:

For general information about mosquitoes and recommendations for mosquito prevention in agriculture:

For specific information about mosquito prevention in storm water management systems:

For specific information about mosquito prevention in wastewater treatment wetlands: View

For specific information about mosquito prevention in managed wetlands: