Public Health Agency of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Share this page

West Nile virus

Prevention

How can West Nile virus infections be prevented?

The best way to avoid infection with West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. You can do this by minimizing your exposure to mosquitoes, and by getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds on your property.

Minimize exposure to mosquitoes by:

  • using insect repellentsExternal Link (bug sprays or lotions) that contain DEET (diethyltoluamide) or IcaridinExternal Link
  • wearing light-coloured protective clothing
  • making sure door and window screens fit tightly and have no holes

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water (water that does not move). Even a small amount can act as a breeding ground. Reduce the number of mosquitoes by:

  • emptying standing water from pool covers, garbage cans and similar outdoor items
  • changing the water in wading pools, birdbaths and pet and livestock water dishes regularly
  • covering rain barrels with screens and keeping eavestroughs clear of leaves and debris
  • removing unused items (like old tires) that can collect water