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Learn how to effectively control mosquitoes

Elvis Elvis

It use to be that Mosquitoes were just annoying pests that left an itchy bite. Now they’re down right dangerous especially for those with compromised immune systems.

Much care should be taken when considering evening gatherings so they don’t bring more to the party than you bargained for.

It’s common knowledge that the females are the ones who are doing the biting (nature has a way of repeating itself).

Keeping populations under control is important, as they are able to spread diseases like malaria and encephalitis and, more recently, west Nile virus.

-What to do-

Reduce standing water. It takes only 7 – 10 days in a tablespoon of water, for their larvae to mature. Make sure that any containers, however unlikely, are dumped or drained after it rains.

Learn how to effectively control mosquitoes

Change the water in bird baths daily, keeping it fresh.

If your property does have standing water that you can’t drain, like in the case of a pond, then consider installing a pump to keep water moving so mosquitoes don’t have a chance to lay eggs in it. If the standing water is in ditches or low areas then consider adding soil or french drains.

-Natural Approach-

We don’t feel the need to blast every crawling creature that comes along.

Likewise, we don’t want harm to come to ourselves either so in the case of mosquitoes we may introduce beneficial nematodes.

We know that dragonfly larvae eat the mosquito larvae as do copepods goldfish and minnows.

The bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis (Bt), kills the larvae as well. This is the active ingredient in mosquito disks and dunks.

Learn how to effectively control mosquitoes

Mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) can usually be obtained by your local mosquito abatement program. So while the water of the pond is attracting the pests our friends the fish (after all “fish are friends”) including, goldfish and koi can eat plenty of them including their larvae, keeping them under control.

It is my understanding though, that mosquito fish and gold fish may not get along and the goldfish are less likely to win in the battle of the pond.

Many herbs and flowers have the natural ability to repel them. Plant these in your backyard, lavender, mint, sweet basil, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon thyme, tansy, geraniums and marigolds.

Rub crushed herbs on exposed skin. It doesn’t last long only 30 – 90 minutes, but it can be repeated. When outdoors and preferably not close to me, avoid using perfumes, perfumed shampoos, soaps and deodorant.

The use of an overhead, or portable fan can shoo flying pests away while it keeps you cool. And of course, staying indoors during the hours when they are most active will give you the best odds of not being bitten.

If you’re going to be camping, hiking or otherwise spending long periods of time out doors, you may want to invest in clothing specifically design to guard against mosquitoes.

-Repellents-

There are some safe store bought organic options when it comes to repellents.

We try to avoid the repellents that contain DEET, especially when smearing it on the kids. Be careful using any repellent, because sure enough, the all-natural ones can still irritate your skin, even if they don’t cause the angst of sprouting a new limb.

Carbon Dioxide or CO2 mosquito control Unlike the bug zapper of yester-year, this is not just another gadget.

Companies who make them, in allegiance with science, are working to improve their effectiveness. These machines may work well for many, if the instructions in the owners manual are followed properly and they are used in conjunction with other types of deterrents, such as those listed above.

Just a funny thought…

In a recent article on mosquito control, it said that they still prefer the traps with live hosts as bait. Hmmm. I couldn’t help but picture certain family members, caged, for use as a deterrent for the rest of us. Could we get a volunteer? Mom? She’s always self-sacrificing. Oh, but who would serve the food if she was busy doing that?