(CNN) — Your backyard might just be the breeding ground for next week’s mosquitoes. With mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile as major health concerns, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors from bites.
The simple way to eliminate future mosquitoes is to toss out the the bugs’ watery breeding ground. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends removing any collected water from your yard and from inside your house once a week.
This is because the life cycle of a mosquito begins when one lays its eggs on or near standing water. Over the course of about a week, the eggs turn to larva and then pupa, and then they emerge from the water as an adult mosquito.
Some places where water collects are easy to remember to change, like bird baths, dog bowls and that cup you might have left out on the porch.
However, after it rains or even in the heat of the summer, water collects in places you might not expect.
Look for standing water inside an old tire, in your clogged gutters or in the kiddie pool that’s flipped over in the backyard.
Don’t forget to check the puddle of water from condensation behind your air conditioner. Even the dish under your potted plants or a small bottle cap can hold enough water for mosquitoes to breed.
And it’s not just outside your house; mosquitoes can also breed indoors. Once a week, check and change anything that collects water inside your house, like a flower vase.