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mosquito control

 
Posts: 104
Location: Southern Oregon
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I like the idea of the raw garlic. I use essential oils and they work fantastically. Tee tree oil, lemongrass, citronella all work great. I would suggest a pure theraputic grade of essential oil as other ones can contain alcohols or other skin irritants. Young Living is a fantastic brand but its not sold in stores, only through distributors. They have a great blend called Purification that is great repellant as well as soothing if you do get a bite.
 
steward
Posts: 3382
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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I mixed essential oils of lemon eucalyptus and tea tree oil into jojoba oil and that works well. (Jojoba oil isn't actually an oil--it's a wax which is liquid at room temperature. This means that it has a much longer shelf life than oils, so it's worthwhile to buy a pint of it for example, here.
)

I actually bought a gallon of jojoba oil a few years ago and, kept in my basement it has stayed very nice. I use it for all sorts of scented purposes. The prices seems to be a lot higher these days--it would be good to share a purchase of a gallon with a few other people.
 
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I read that you have to eat B vitamins AND garlic. I haven't tried it out yet, but I have plenty of lemon balm.

I read about a guy on the internet who set up a strong fan with screening that is small enough mesh to catch them. Then he dunks them in alcohol, lets the alcohol dry off them after they are dead, and feeds them to his chickens. I have not personally tried this either, but a search might get you to the site. You could get chicken eggs out of the deal perhaps.
 
steward
Posts: 32902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
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Thank you for your natural solution. Spiders also fight effectively against mosquitoes. (If you're not afraid of it.) Installing mosquito nets between the shutters and the window can also help.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
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I put up bat houses which the bats eat their weight in bugs per night. This only gets the bugs that are flying and out at dusk or dark however. To combat the low bugs that come out during the day, or are in the sod or grasses, I use ducks. They grub for toads, frogs, snakes and ticks.

Then of course there is the positioning of a persons house. Mine is high on a hill so we get significant wind and breezes here taking care of the pesky bugs most of the time.

None are fool proof methods, but they really cuts down on the amount of bugs I have to deal with, and the bugs bothering the sheep. I don't use insecticides on them by any means.
 
Posts: 249
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I've heard catnip and yarrow are good repellants. Catnip is supposed to be as good as DEET. I keep forgetting to make the repellant until too late😭.
 
pollinator
Posts: 453
Location: Western Kenya
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I just got over my latest round of malaria, which if you didn't know, is a mosquito born parasite.  So controlling mosquito is always a concern for us.  The thing I found quite effective is clove oil.  After cloves, we had some success with neem, but the cloves worked better and smelled better.  We sleep under bed nets, which also helps.  We have a swampy area on our property, so we are a mosquito paradise.

The weird and kinda nice thing is that you don't notice the Skeeter's here.  They are small and the bites aren't noticeable... They don't hurt and don't itch.  If it weren't for the occasional buzzing, you wouldn't know they were around.  The danger there is it makes me kind of lazy about protecting myself.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Saskatchewan
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I have two steps for avoiding mosquitoes.

Step one avoid the mosquitoes favourite time of day, where I am they come out in full force around 10:00 pm, just after it gets dark in July. This is a good time to go to bed.

Step two is the same thing I do to avoid sunburn, long pants, and long sleeves, even a thin breathable shirt can stop mosquitoes if you are moving.

I don't worry about mosquito borne diseases where I live.
 
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
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For those in the US, I hear that Chimney Swifts are excellent for mosquito control and are mostly active at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are at their worst. Many of us may already have chimneys, which is what they require to nest. Ensuring that they are easily accessible to the Swifts might be all that is needed. They migrate in winter, and thus are only using the chimney when we are not. This species is struggling due to habitat loss, which is sad since they are remarkable beings. Seems like giving them access to chimneys could be mutually beneficial. One can also build a chimney for them if so inclined. More info about what they need can be found at the website of the Chimney Swift conservation association www.ChimneySwifts.org

On the point of catnip being effective: I tried this with little success. I infused it in alcohol (vodka, if I recall) for a long time. I tried using this as a spray, slightly diluted with water and was still getting bitten something fierce. Perhaps another method of processing the catnip would yield different results though. I want to believe I can find plants to repel them! Gonna try growing lemon balm...or maybe bee balm would work?
 
gardener
Posts: 3054
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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If you have a  pond/water feature with fish, you can scatter buckets of water on your place. After you see the larvae, dump it in the water feature. If you don't manage it, you will get the opposite effect.

For area control of actual mosquitos, there is a technique using round fans. Place screenwire on the back. They get sucked up to it but don't die. This gives you a chance to free other bugs. Once you want them dead, spray rubbing alcohol on them to suffocate them. Running in the evening and overnite gets best results.
 
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monica jenkins wrote:What do you think about adding Bt israelensis to outdoor water sources? Does it have an adverse effect? I see it advertised in organic type catalogs...



I think this stuff is great, someone mentioned being afraid of GMOs but this bacteria occurs naturally. Whether or not the commercial versions are GMO you have to check the labels, to be honest I do believe they are for purposes of breeding and drying - much like cultivating a yeast would be. I think GMOs depending on use are totally acceptable, in this case BT is great.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 32902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Mike and Raven and I just spent a couple of hours hashing through a BB for the PEP stuff for this.  Here are our notes so far:

build bird/bat habitat (describe for which species and how many mosquitoes that bird/bat eats in a day)
create dragonfly habitat
create frog habitat
create toad habitat
mosquito breeding trap
introduce fish to a year round water tank or pond to control mosquito larvae
reduction of mud puddles (or other type of standing water) where mud puddles are not wanted
  - gutter that does not drain properly?
  - buckets or other objects outside that can hold water for five days or more?
  - puddles in a road?

For this BB in the PEP program, we specifically add "do NOT use BT, soap, citronella, propane, electricty"

Anything else that we might have left out?
 
Posts: 19
Location: South Florida
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Hi,
Here's our problem: we collect rainwater in various containers and use it for washing clothes & watering plants. When there's a lot of rain, over days, the pieces of dunks or the bits we put in will float over the sides and we'll get mosquitos if we forget to replenish them. As I understand from the dunk people, once the larvae become wrigglers, the BTi products do not work. I don't want to put oil on the water, or soap or other things like cinnamon in it, because there goes the ability to use it for washing, nor do I want to add bleach. I m'not comfortable with putting fish in galvanized and plastic containers.

I hate to have to dump out all my saved water.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!
 
pollinator
Posts: 301
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Cara, an inch of screening attached around the lip of container would allow overflow and contain the BTI dunks within the container.
 
Cara Campbell
Posts: 19
Location: South Florida
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Thank you James. I'm not sure if I understand what you mean buy an inch of screen attached around the lip. Do you mean it would be standing up an inch all around, past the edge? How would I attach it?

I really was asking about killing existing mosquitos, not preventing them because right now,it's too late for prevention.
My larger containers are covered with screen, but I also have 3 & 5 gallon buckets as well as some 8 & 10 gallon containers. Removing & re-fastening and  screens each time I want to pour a bucket of water in my washing machine is just too much trouble for me.
Additionally, we have a large concrete planter for our dog to lie in, and if I screen that, she'll tear the screen off to lie in the water.

I put some laundry liquid in one of the containers and will check to see if the larvae are dead. If they are, I can put detergent in the unscreened buckets, and use just the screened water for rinsing the clothes.

I'll post back my findings.

Thanks!
 
Posts: 64
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I am a mosquito magnet.
Lately, I've wondered where all the mosquitos are!

I also wear old tuxedo shirts. The weave is tight, the arms are long, and the collar buttons up around my neck (I flip it up). White reflects the sun and doesn't attract mosquitos.
Pants, tux shirt, and socks for the day stay in the laundry room for every time I go out.  Helps with chiggers too.  Surprisingly, the long shelves and pants don't make me sweaty.  I take a wet snapping cloth and wear it like a scarf.  It keeps the sun off and evaporative cooling works.

I put cups of attractive algae water around then dump them when larve are trapped.

In my duck weed pond, I added a tiny frog I found.  I need to find some little fish.  Hard to get them without stores.

- TheRainHarvester on YouTube.

 
Posts: 10
Location: Minnesota, USA
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Getting rid of standing water is far and away the best non-toxic thing you can do to eliminate mosquitoes. It is a little like a doctor suggesting that a patient stop smoking. It is far and away the #1 thing you can do compared to all the other steps.

Don't forget about coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds can be placed in various spots in your yard or garden. Mosquitoes can't stand them.
 
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I live in an urban area in NC, with a small yard that is so infested with mosquitoes in the summer as to make just going out to tend the garden pretty unpleasant. My four year old gets eaten badly every time she goes outside, so it has become a priority for me to find a natural way to control the mosquitoes. I am considering building a bat house and/or building a small pond (with a solar-powered pump, and dragonfly larvae). I've heard bats need a water source close by, which I don't have or I'd start with the bat house. Before I go to the considerable work of building a pond, though, I would love to know if anyone has had luck using this method in an urban setting (since I have no control over what the neighbors are doing, including spraying)? Has anyone tried and either succeeded or failed? Any tips appreciated!
 
Cara Campbell
Posts: 19
Location: South Florida
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I did put washing liquid into my water containers and it did indeed kill th mosquitos. It wasn't a problem because I just made sure to use those for washing and not watering the plants.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2144
Location: 4b
516
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My area has mosquitoes.  Lots of them, as in LOTS of them.  I have bat houses, bird houses, frog and toad houses, and have applied liberal amounts of every kind of natural, essential oil-based compound I can think of.  I tried eating raw, fermented garlic every day for months.  I've tried long sleeves, different colors, and everything else I have ever heard.  Two things have worked for me.  There are garlic-based lawn sprays that leave your yard smelling like an Italian restaurant that work great.  I was very happy with the one I used but it has to be reapplied pretty often.  It is absolutely worth it in high mosquito areas, but it isn't feasible for very large areas like the 80 acres that I live on and walk a lot.  

As far as things that worked on me directly, I have only had success with DEET, and that makes me very unhappy, so I'm following this with interest in hopes that something else emerges that works.
 
Miriam Brodersen
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Thanks, Trace. I didn’t have much luck with the garlic spray unfortunately . What kind did you use?
In terms of repellents, I found that repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus (NOT lemon eucalyptus oil) work well. The one made by Cutters is not exactly natural, but doesn’t have DEET and has been found to be as effective as DEET by the CDC.
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
Posts: 2144
Location: 4b
516
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Miriam Brodersen wrote:Thanks, Trace. I didn’t have much luck with the garlic spray unfortunately . What kind did you use?
In terms of repellents, I found that repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus (NOT lemon eucalyptus oil) work well. The one made by Cutters is not exactly natural, but doesn’t have DEET and has been found to be as effective as DEET by the CDC.



It's been a number of years since I used that garlic spray so I don;t know the brand anymore.  I'll try to find it in my old emails.

The CDC may have found the Cutter's one just as effective as DEET, but they must not have tried it in Wisconsin  My results were less than stellar.  I found it completely ineffective.

I found the one I used.  It's called Mosquito Barrier, found here:  Mosquito Barrier
 
pollinator
Posts: 420
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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Simplest way to avoid being bit, wind! Set up a fan where ever you are, the skeeters don't like wind.

Otherwise, preventatives such as previously mentioned:  long sleeves/pants, and creating an unfavorable environment with bat boxes, swallow boxes; no uncovered standing water (or keep it moving with a pump), goldfish in containers or ponds, no long grasses, heavily brushy areas.
 
gardener
Posts: 1962
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
746
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I've had good luck so far this year with small ponds, just a few square feet, and letting some native plants grow up around them.

I'm guessing that the water attracts the nearby mosquitos to breed there, and the beneficial critters are ready and eagerly awaiting a snack.
 
Miriam Brodersen
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It's been a number of years since I used that garlic spray so I don;t know the brand anymore.  I'll try to find it in my old emails.

The CDC may have found the Cutter's one just as effective as DEET, but they must not have tried it in Wisconsin  My results were less than stellar.  I found it completely ineffective.

I found the one I used.  It's called Mosquito Barrier, found here:  Mosquito Barrier



Oh well, I'm sorry that spray didn't work for you. Mosquito Barrier was the one I tried too and it didn't work for me. It's disheartening to hear that nothing has worked for you. Do you have a pond?
 
Miriam Brodersen
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Steve Thorn wrote:I've had good luck so far this year with small ponds, just a few square feet, and letting some native plants grow up around them.

I'm guessing that the water attracts the nearby mosquitos to breed there, and the beneficial critters are ready and eagerly awaiting a snack.



That's good to hear! Do you have a pump in them or just leave them with standing water? What did you line the ponds with?
 
Trace Oswald
pollinator
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Location: 4b
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Miriam Brodersen wrote:

It's been a number of years since I used that garlic spray so I don;t know the brand anymore.  I'll try to find it in my old emails.

The CDC may have found the Cutter's one just as effective as DEET, but they must not have tried it in Wisconsin  My results were less than stellar.  I found it completely ineffective.

I found the one I used.  It's called Mosquito Barrier, found here:  Mosquito Barrier



Oh well, I'm sorry that spray didn't work for you. Mosquito Barrier was the one I tried too and it didn't work for me. It's disheartening to hear that nothing has worked for you. Do you have a pond?



I have a tiny one that I just dug a few days ago. It has a small spring that feeds it, so it has running water all the time.  I will be putting in more small ones this year and expanding my spring fed one a bit.
 
gardener
Posts: 542
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
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Hah? Control mosquitos? Hah!

Anyone who thinks that controlling mosquitos is possible hasn't been to Northern Canada. Lovely untouched ecosystems with healthy marshes and bogs just screaming for blood.

My dad has two electric bug zappers he leaves running all night. I dont no that they make a difference but the constant pzzt! Pzzt! Has put me to sleep many a night. He also swears by those coil smokers, even in the house, which I blame for my asthma. I would rather bug bites than asthma. He puts feeder goldfish in the rain barrel each year, but there are enough puddles in the woods it doesn't make a difference.

Bug nets, long pants (thick jeans or similar as they can bite through tight or thin clothes) tucked into thick socks in sandals or boots flannel shirts or a loose windbreaker, and a wide brimmed hat to hold the bug net away from the head. Those are the only effective solutions I have ever found for mosquitos, horse flies, black flies, deer flies, no see ums ,etc. Oh, that and winter :)

I gardened for half an hour this morning and only got a dozen bites wearing long pants, no socks, sandals, and a short sleeve shirt. There were almost no bugs by my standard, I live in town now :) Give it a month and I will have had enough bites that I no longer react to them, and then the insect protection is just because I hate the sound in my ear and the feeling of bugs on my skin.

Black flies,  horse flies  and deer flies dont like being indoors, but noseeums and mosquitos are fine with it. Make sure to keep unused chimney vents covered and not open the woodstove during the summer, and never leave the door open, and repair all holes in the screen promptly. Sleep with a blanket on covering your head even in 30 C because sweating is easier to sleep in than mosquitos buzzing in the ear. A tent over the bed is valuable in some years.

There is a new bug spray on the market in Canada, its icaridin based and I think it works better than the Deet, and if smells far less. I dont find deet does enough to bother putting up with the smell of it. My friends I camp with spray Deet every 10 min or so, I put it on twice a day and I dont see any difference in effectiveness, which is limited. There is a local citronella, lavender, eucalyptus and cedar oil based spray that seems to work as well as DEET.  I like to apply DEeT or any other spray to my clothes (brim of hat, collar of flannel shirt, back of shirt/waistband, cuffs of pants) not my skin.
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1962
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Miriam Brodersen wrote:

Steve Thorn wrote:I've had good luck so far this year with small ponds, just a few square feet, and letting some native plants grow up around them.

I'm guessing that the water attracts the nearby mosquitos to breed there, and the beneficial critters are ready and eagerly awaiting a snack.



That's good to hear! Do you have a pump in them or just leave them with standing water? What did you line the ponds with?



Yeah I just leave them with standing water, and they stay pretty full just from rainwater.

Most of mine have had a little clay in the soil and have sealed by walking around in the ponds full of water with boots on and shuffling my feet all around.

Some of them don't have almost any clay and I may try to seal those with organic matter like leaves.

Here's a video showing what some of my pools looked like a few weeks ago, and they're full of frogs and tadpoles now!

 
Miriam Brodersen
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Thanks, Steve!
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Oh my folks - I've posted this before - the absolute best mosquito repellant I've ever used is the herb lemon balm! It grows like crazy (in the mint family??) and all you have to do is rub the fresh leaves on your skin.


Hi everybody
Do you know what is the latin (gender species) name for herb lemon ? Does it grow in temperate climate ?
Thanks
gift
 
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