9 SOLUTIONS FOR ELIMINATING MOSQUITOES IN THE GARDEN
From folk remedies to modern science, repellants have been brewed, concocted and formulated to prevent mosquitoes from feasting on people. Cherokee Indians smashed the roots of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) into a pulp and mixed it with bear fat as a means to spread over the body for protection from insects. Western tribes of native americans used western yarrow (Achillea millefolium) as a mosquito repellent by applying a smudge of its charred leaves on their exposed skin .
Here are suggestions to avoid, repel and mitigate mosquito bites in the urban gardens of New York City.
1. ELIMINATE STANDING WATER IN THE GARDEN
Eliminate standing water is critical and cannot be overstated! Mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface of standing water. Inspect your yard for standing (rain) water. Even the barest amount (i.e. a quarter of an inch of water) is enough for the pests to spawn. Empty or remove all the items that can contain water for at least a few days. By eliminating all these water sources you are taking away ideal breeding grounds for the bugs. Since mosquitoes prefer standing, non-flowing water aeration helps prevent egg-laying and hatching. Use an aeration pump, a fountain, water bubbler, or a DIY pond aerator to improve water circulation and keep it moving.
2. ANY PRODUCT WITH DEET WILL REPEL MOSQUITOES IN THE GARDEN
What does work most effectively is any product with a high percentage of DEET. Products such as "OFF" (7% Deet) typically need to be reapplied often if they work. Products designed for getting rid of these flying pests typically can contain harsh chemicals that can often cause
3. SCENTED PLANTS REPEL MOSQUITOES
In my experience planting rosemary, citronella, nepeta, basil, marigolds, etc does not work to control mosquitoes within gardens or patios just by their presence. However if you transfer the scent from the plant to your person by rubbing plant oils/scents on your skin this does minimize the mosquitoes aggressive nature.
Several herbal oils on the market can assist in repelling mosquitoes. Generally these oils or lotions made with citronella, wormwood, and pennyroyal are applied directly to the skin or clothing.
4. A LOW TECH AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTION FOR ELIMINATING BUGS
If you are sitting in one place, the most low-tech and inexpensive solution is a fan. Mosquitos are relatively weak fliers, they don’t like flying into a headwind. Have you ever been bit by a mosquito on a windy day? Lack of air movement in cloistered, urban gardens is a contributory factor to management of mosquitoes.
5. BATS LOVE TO EAT MOSQUITOES
On the other hand there are bats which eat 3-500 mosquitoes a night. to reduce adult mosquito populations, how about attracting bats to your yard? Bats consume massive quantities of mosquitos, and by putting up a few bat houses around your yard, you might just get some to settle there. In fact, if there are lots of mosquitos, you probably already have a fair number of bats in the area. The houses might just keep them closer to home. Bats are quite particular about their habitat, so follow instructions that come with the bat house.
6. NATURAL PRODUCTS
There is a natural product, Bacillus thuringiensis, that is sold in the form of mosquito dunks and quick kill pellets. These dissolving products are floated in stagnant water and release the Bt slowly over time to kill the larvae in the water. Perhaps this type of product would work for you.
7. HI TECH PRODUCTS
Zappers kill thousands of (beneficial) bugs each night and only a handful mosquitoes, avoid purchasing them!
8. INDUCE NATURE
Lights attract small bugs which attract bigger bugs looking for a tasty meal. By replacing existing outdoor light for opaque yellow bug lights you may reduce the influx of the flying pests in your yard. Because of different light wavelengths, bug lights are less visible to insects thus causing less bugs swarming around.
9. WARDROBE THAT REPELS BUGS
You can buy clothing — shirts in particular — in which the fabric has been impregnated with a chemical mosquito repellent. The repellent remains effective even after several washings.