Beat Mosquitoes with Prevention and Deterrents
If you’ve stepped outside in the last week or so, you know mosquitoes are out in full force. This year will be worse than last when it comes mosquitoes interrupting our outside activities. Mosquito prevention is key. And, more importantly, with threats of West Nile Virus, Zika, and canine Heartworm transmission, it’s a good idea to prevent and deter mosquitoes. Did you know that in warm weather, mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in four days? Successful control requires a well-rounded plan of attack.
We’ve done the research for you and this is our list of recommendations for safe, non-toxic prevention:
- Remove standing water, replenish birdbaths daily, your pet’s water bowl, etc.
- Empty and clean at least weekly: wading pools, fountains, buckets, fire pits, etc.
- Kill larvae with Mosquito Bits® (corn cob granules coated in *Bti). The shock treatment will kill larvae. Sprinkle in, or on top of, the soil of houseplants and container plants to kill fungal gnat and mosquito larvae.
- Use Mosquito Dunks® which last 30 days and one dunk covers 100 sq. ft. of surface water. Ideal for fountains, irrigation drainage settling points, and anywhere standing water persists. Deemed safe for watering troughs for animals, fish ponds, and other wildlife.
*Bti is a bacteria toxic only to mosquito larvae.
As with any product, follow directions on the label for the best results.
To complement the steps you’re taking to prevent the mosquito larvae from maturing enough to bite, you can do simple things to naturally deter adult mosquitoes.
Plant these mosquito deterrents for color and subtle scents in your garden, in pots around where you like to sit, and on table tops:
- Lemon Thyme
- Society Garlic (may not have a smell you’d like next to your eating space, but makes an excellent accent further into the landscape)
- Citronella Geraniums
- Lime Basil
Garden Tip: shake, brush through, or fluff these plants on occasion to keep the scents active. You’ll find these plants in our annual and perennial sections of our nurseries (subject to availability).
Did you know?
Natural predators of mosquitoes are dragonflies, tadpoles, some fish (including goldfish), spiders, damselflies, and many birds, including hummingbirds. Consider choosing plants that invite hummingbirds to your garden.
Place citronella candles for extra defense.
- Skeeter™ candles, diffusers, sprays are mixed with a blend of oils from cedar, rosemary, peppermint, clove and thyme.
Fire away with a hose-end sprayer filled with effective deterrent for a large scale barrier.
- Bonide® Mosquito Beater is an easy and very effective way to create a barrier around your yard. Simply attache the bottle to the end of your hose, turn the water on, and spray. The residuals work for up to two weeks. Treat up to 5,000 sq. ft. with one quart and all you’ll smell are subtle scents of cedar, citronella, lemongrass, and geranium oil. And, by-the-way, you’ll repel gnats, flies, and other nuisance insects. Can be used where children and pets play. Please follow directions.
- Summit Mosquito & Gnat Barrier is another hose-end application that works. One-half gallon will cover up to 10,000 sq. ft. and last 30 days. And how about the added benefit of repelling ants, fleas, and ticks?
In addition to the products mentioned here, we do have a wide variety of other safe options for prevention and repelling—too many to mention—and we are the place to go for the solutions you need to keep the mosquitoes at bay in your yard, and inside.
Sources: Summit Chemical Company, Bonide Products Inc., Skeeter Screen, and our own garden gurus.