A geographically stratified cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2002 to investigate household-level factors associated with use of mosquito control measures and self-reported malaria in Malindi, Kenya. A total of 629 households were surveyed. Logistic regressions were used to analyse the data. Half of all households (51%) reported all occupants using an insecticide-treated bed net and at least one additional mosquito control measure such as insecticides or removal of standing water. Forty-nine per cent reported a history of malaria in the household. Of the thirteen household factors analysed, low (OR=0·23, CI 0·11, 0·48) and medium (OR=0·50, CI 0·29, 0·86) education, mud–wood–coral (OR=0·0·39, CI 0·24, 0·66) and mud block–plaster (OR=0·47, CI 0·25, 0·87) wall types, farming (OR=1·38, CI 1·01, 1·90) and travel to rural areas (OR=0·48, CI 0·26, 0·91) were significantly associated with the use of mosquito control, while controlling for other covariates in the model. History of reported malaria was not associated with the use of mosquito control (OR=1·22, CI 0·79, 1·88). Of the thirteen covariates analysed in the second model, only two household factors were associated with history of malaria: being located in the well-drained stratum (OR=0·49, CI 0·26, 0·96) and being bitten while in the house (OR=1·22, CI 0·19, 0·49). These results suggest that high socioeconomic status is associated with increased household-level mosquito control use, although household-level control may not be enough, as many people are exposed to biting mosquitoes while away from the house and in areas that are more likely to harbour mosquitoes.