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pinksand
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Mosquito Control Needed

The mosquitoes in our yard are a nightmare this year! I had sprayed myself with deep woods OFF multiple times throughout the day and rubbed lemon balm all over myself and kept a sprig of it in my ponytail. I still came in absolutely covered in bites. They bit me through my clothes, bit my face, they are making gardening unbearable for me and I need to do something! We do have one boggy spot from a natural spring just along the street in our front yard, but they seem much worse in our backyard. Our property is 0.35 acre. I clean my birdbath almost daily and my rainbarrel is fully contained. I’m not sure what to do at this point! There are organic mosquito treatment companies I’ve looked into, and they specify that birds and aquatic life are unharmed by treatment but I worry about the beneficial insects and the cost is pretty high.

I may try mosquito dunks at the bottom of the bog garden when there’s standing water after it rains just in case this is the source of the problem. I’m also worried that the winter mulch I used may have helped them overwinter happily in my gardens. With all this rain we’ve been getting they just have armies ready to bite, particularly in the gardens. Is mulch a contributing factor in mosquito problems? Is there a safe home treatment I can do myself that anyone has had success with? I’m just worried about hiring a company and wiping out all my garden predators.

The site says “Our treatments use Octopamine Blocker Technology, which provides fast knockdown to mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and gnats. The essential oils that comprise the active ingredients in the product work by disrupting the neurotransmitter function in target insects. In invertebrates, with their simpler nervous systems, a multi-functional chemical known as "octopamine" handles many of these functions.”

https://www.mosquitomikes.com/how-mosqu ... oCMdDw_wcB
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applestar
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

This only shows the abstract, but sounds relevant.

Stimulatory effect of octopamine on juvenile hormone biosynthesis in honey bees (Apis mellifera): Physiological and immunocytochemical evidence - ScienceDirect
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 1094900205
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I'll try to dig up my recipe for natural big repellant. I need to mix up a batch for myself

...I was thinking that those hummingbirds will be feeding their babies soon.... 8)
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Mosquitoes around here only need a quarter inch of water to breed. Other places to look. The saucers under your pots. Those self watering pot saucers can be easy to miss. Clean the gutters, make sure the debris is not creating a dam. Tires, pails, kids' sandbo toys, anything that can hold water needs to be emptied. Ponds that have fish usually take care of most of the mosquito larvae or the dunks work pretty good. I put dunks in the rain barrel and fountain sometimes, or a little dish soap to break the surface tension. Fill the low spots in the yard. If the spring is not stagnant, mosquitoes don't really like that. Check any pipes you may have in the yard. They do like to breed in pipes. The mosquitoes usually come out 3 days after a heavy rain has stopped. I usually try to avoid going out in the morning and evening when they are active. My screens must be good since I rarely find them in the house. I do use deet when there are a lot of mosquitoes around. I spray my clothes and I try to wear long sleeves and pants to cover up. The mosquitoes still like to go for my face, so now I have to use the wipes for that, or if it gets really bad, I do have a mosquito net hat which looks silly and gets in the way since I am not used to it, but it does work. If you go out later in the sun, mosquitoes aren't going to be around as much they don't like being in the sun.

Most of the mosquito controls are going to be toxic to everything. It has not gotten so bad to need to use malathion in years. The geckos do a good job of catching a lot of the flying bugs and they do like mosquitoes. I have some tree frogs, they eat mostly ants, but I am hoping they are eating mosquitoes too. There are enough of them since they make a racket every night.
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pinksand
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Applestar, I'd love to give your recipe a try! We love to have people over for BBQs this time of year and last night more than half of our guests were hiding inside because it was so miserable to be out despite everyone spraying themselves with deet and us lighting all our citronella torches.

I swear the lemon balm just attracted them to bite me more :(

I'm really hoping we'll get some REALLY hungry natural predators working hard in our yard soon. The bats were out last night, but I haven't seen any dragonflies yet this year.

Everything I hear from people and read about deals with your property and never really mention water problems nearby. Do mosquitoes not travel far from their breeding site? For example, behind the houses across the street from us, the river often floods and creates swampy wet areas for days, sometimes weeks before they dry out. Could this be the source of this swarm? If our neighbors have clogged gutters and water pooling in their kids toys, could it be coming from there?

Really, besides the boggy garden I mentioned, we don't have any low points where water pools even during a heavy rain. We just checked the gutters a couple of weeks ago and they were practically clear since we just replaced them in the fall and had the only nearby tree trimmed away from the house. I could probably be better about emptying saucers beneath my plants, so I'll be more diligent for sure!

They were literally biting me through my clothes. I was wearing pants and still got a bunch of bites on my legs, but it was hot so I was wearing a tank top and counted 30 bites just around my right shoulder blade and armpit. It was tough because Saturday I was lugging big bags of mulch up our hilly property and couldn't smack them while my hands were occupied so they'd just be biting me while I tried to wiggle them off without dropping the mulch or falling down the hill. I must have looked like a crazy person.
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applestar
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Crazy person-- that's me doing the "mosquito go away wave-and-twirl" while shouting and yelling at the miserable buggers. nutz:
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imafan26
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Your neighbors could definitely be a source of the mosquitoes especially if they have standing water. My neighbor was getting attacked by mosquitoes and called the board of health and they investigated and found that the foreclosure house next to him had a pool with dirty stagnant water. The BOH contacted the bank that owned the property and had them clean it up.

Here for outdoor events especially at night we use citronella torches and mosquito punks and they do a fairly good job at area control although a few will still get through so deet too. You have to make sure you place the torches all around the perimeter and the mosquito punks we usually keep them on the tables or under the chairs. It does smell but we are used to it. It is better than being bitten all the time. Make sure if you use repellents they are the long lasting ones like deep woods off or Repel that are designed for camping. They last 8 hours instead of three.
Some people said they use this thermacell lantern for outdoor parties and they said it worked pretty well. It is expensive since it runs on butane and the cartridges have to be replaced. But it is supposed to be able to protect a 15x15 foot area for up to 12 hours.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/ThermaCELL-M ... /100622948

People use bug lites, but I read that they are indescriminate and kill more beneficial insects than bad ones.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

That Thermacell lantern was very tempting and possibly worth the money reading the reviews! However, it sounds like the active ingredient, allethrin, is toxic to beneficial insects as well so I'll have to skip it. I just don't think it's fair to attract all these bees to my garden just to kill them.

Ugh, I feel a bit like this is a hopeless battle. I was bitten all over my face last night trying to pull all the yard waste out for recycling. I woke up looking like I have acne on my forehead. :cry:

Why can't there be a truly environmentally friendly yet highly effective option available :roll:
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Place to start. I'm being lazy (busy-busy) -- need to refine the searches more... still looking for my bug repellant recipe, but it might be in the link to previous post that I posted here.

Note what I said in this post. I was thinking that you may need to re-evaluate your personal body products in case some of them are attracting the mosquitoes. I can't imagine being bitten all over my face. I have mosquitoes in my garden but generally they fly by in ones and twos, and if I have my hands free and focus on them, I can squash those.

Read before and after my post in this thread, too. LMK if you get to my recipe first? :>


Subject: No-Poison Answer To Your Mosquito Problem?
applestar wrote:O, couple of old posts and threads to add to the mix :wink:

2009
Subject: Plants for Flea control
applestar wrote:I *was* going to mention the nematodes -- not that I've tried them, but that I've seen them advertised. So thanks for that article webmaster! 8)

I did a pretty thorough internet search for natural bug repellents a couple of years ago, and one recipe that kept coming up that many people claimed worked well for fleas was the lemon and rosemary spray -- don't have it on hand right now, but it went something like slice up a whole lemon, pour boiling water over it and steep overnight, then add sprig of rosemary or few drops of rosemary essential oil. Anyway, if this is true, and esp in your Texas location, maybe rosemary plus one of the many plants with limonene oil -- I'm thinking lemon thyme, lemon grass, lemon geranium, etc. type of plants (or even citrus trees) would help? Another combo that is supposed to be effective against mosquitoes (not sure about fleas) is lemon and eucalyptus.

Let us know if you find something that is effective. :wink:
5 pg thread started in 2013
Subject: ORGANIC MOSQUITO CONTROL

...one of my posts in the thread...
applestar wrote:Lemon eucalyptus has been touted as "more effective than deet". I wonder if there are anything other than eucalyptus that has the "eucalyptus" scent?

I have switched my body soap from cocoa/shea butter and mango moisturizing winter soap to to lemon grass/lemon verbena summer soap, and will be combining with eucalyptus soap soon (I stick the two bars together). I'm making a new batch of rosemary scented shampoo (I just stuff the shampoo bottle with rosemary sprigs and fill with unscented kids shampoo.) this year, I think I'll make rosemary and lemongrass shampoo. 8)
I did that and have done it every year since. Eucalyptus and Lemon Verbena body soap and
Rosemary and Lemon (verbena/balm/grass) shampoo. I can't say they completely prevent mosquito bites, but I'm a mosquito magnet, too -- NOBODY else might get bit but I will. :roll: So I might be getting 5 bites instead of over a dozen using these.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Rake up any dead leaves around the border of your property if there are any.

Last year was a dry one and many mosquitoes didn't hatch. But they're back this year with the abundant rains. It's cyclical and will last a month to a month and a half-ish. Then they're hatched-out and are less a problem. The first and second wave are always the strongest.

- If you can, wear a long sleeve t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt.

-Wear something over your face like a neck gaiter.

-Be bathed in the morning because I'm pretty sure they are attracted more to sweat smells.

- Time your outings around the mosquito hatches. Thus, if they're hatching around 10 AM then get out earlier then return to safety indoors while their hatching outside. Then go out after the hatch later in the afternoon, like 1 or 2 and be back indoors again in the late afternoon around 5 PM when they're in their evening hatch.

A matter of timing
My approach is that there is no controlling it. Only taking steps to cope with what is a temporary situation. Around the strongest first hatch and the second waves I deal with mosquitoes by timing when I go out. I live in a forested area near swamps, creeks, lakes and while last year was mild previous years have been wild. If I spray I use a commercially available non-toxic spray but personally I think the reason it works is because it's covering up my natural sweat smells.

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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

@applestar you have no idea! I showered after yoga this evening, tried to bundle up with my rain jacket and hood up to protect my neck while i went out there to check on my blueberries and they bit all over my forehead and temples, got tangled in my eyelashes. My dog gets swarmed and bitten (smashed one biting his eyelid tonight), my husband came out to try to help set up a wren house and couldn't stand it for more than a couple min because they were all around him.

My shampoo is scented with lavender oil, body wash is grapefruit, and face lotion is scented with rose water, but I didn't put it on tonight before I went out there. Literally everyone at my party was getting bitten on their faces after totally fogging themselves with deet though. My friend showed me about 12 bites on her back that she got through her shirt at our house the other night. I feel so bad that our yard is such a nightmare.

It's hard to avoid being out in the evening since I work all day and it's my only opportunity to spend time in the garden. I may have to hold off on any patio parties until the heat of summer when things hopefully dry out.

Regarding picking up leaves... I mulch some of my gardens with shredded leaves. Is this a problem? I hate to de-mulch my beds :oops: Should inot be doing this in the future? I also just finished mulching my more prominent beds with shredded hardwood and pine bark. Does the moisture in the soil cause problems?

I looked over at my neighbors house and their back yard is completely littered with toys and yard equipment. Also, their yard is a disaster of weeds, vines and saplings but it's a pretty steep hill so I doubt there are any low points with pooling water housing in their jungle... it's hard to know the source but I know they're insane throughout my entire yard and don't seem concentrated in any particular location that I can tell.
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imafan26
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I found that deet sprayed on the clothes worked better than on my skin. I also get a bit of a burn from the deet so I like to limit that. Long sleeves and pants help. You must have vicious mosquitos. I usually wear two pants when I am out in the garden. I prefer cutter if I have to put it on my face, it does not sting as much. You may have to invest in a mosquito net hat.
At this price, you can get some for all of your friends.
https://www.amazon.com/Olymstore-Camouf ... squito+hat
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Do check out that other thread -- I think the box fan idea -- with or without the net -- is definitely one to consider for parties.

I have heard that the mosquito attracting trap -- I believe it emits CO2 and maybe pheromones -- does work. I'm writing this from memory, but I believe the trick is to station TWO of those at far corners of the property to draw the mosquitoes away from the party area such as patio or terrace near the house.

You could consider buying or renting a screened party tent. We've done that a few times.

One thing I still use sometimes when I have to go out in the dark or work in the shady wild area where the mosquitoes hide during the day is mosquito coils (incense formed in a flat coil) from Japan. I bought a case of a specialty brand made of 100% natural dried pyrethrum quite a while ago. It has no chemical odor and does not affect me negatively like the chemical formula would. Not the artificial dyed forest green but sort of khaki color. You should know I have asthma and certain chemicals and smoke are triggers, so no reaction indicates a certain level of safety where I'm concerned.

As far as I know, this natural formula with no artificial/toxic binding agent is not harmful to people or most pets and isn't actually strong enough kill, just slow the mosquitoes (and no doubt other bugs) down and sluggish so they have no appetite to bite you, and acts as repellant for a mosquito-free personal space downwind from the incense.

Screened tent pre-smoked with the incense before the party, and smoking the bottom edges and tent/screen walls from the outside during the party seemed to help create a safe space for people to hang out.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

For your dog -- have you tried herbal essential oil mix intended to be used for fleas and ticks? I think it contains citronella as well as other oils and you put a drop or two on the outside of the collar. I actually use that on my gardening boots and bottom hem of my jeans.

...not for mosquito control but I also put diatomaceous earth inside my boots in case biting insects fall or make their way in.

Body products -- lavender oil repels flies, including the black biting kind on the beach, but male mosquitoes hang out in lilac type sweet fragranced flowers, so lavender might not be effective against mosquitoes and rose is questionable too. Not necessarily related, but sweet floral fragrances attract fungus gnats and Bt for mosquitoes work against fungus gnats -- doesn't that mean they are related at some level? Of course the biting mosquitoes are female so who knows.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Still looking for that recipe ... :?
Mentioned it way back here. Didn't I ever post the recipe? :|

Subject: Waa! I wanna go outside!
applestar wrote:8) Had some suspicions about what "marmite" was so I looked it up. Yep. I think I had it just once, a long time ago when that group was singing about "vegemite sandwich" and a friend with a Mum from Wales offered to let me taste some as they always have a jar at her house. Don't remember as I liked it very much... :lol: Is there a better recipe than just smearing it on bread?

I do remember seeing it around here though.. maybe it was Whole Foods, or maybe Trader Joe's. Too bad I didn't see your posts before I WENT to Whole Foods today. (and yes I came home with 3 mosquito bites :?)

I'm chemically sensitive and can't/won't use chemical repellents/insecticides on my skin or my kids. One time, a thoughtless woman sprayed OFF all under her chair without warning while I was sitting right next to her with my nursing baby. :roll: I jumped up and ran away with my baby, but I collapsed before I could get away 10 feet and went into a severe asthma attack. :x It was pretty bad.

Anyway, thanks for your support and suggestions! :D I'll have to try the B-complex idea and remember to wear the protective clothing. I do make a home-made repellent spray that works fairly well. I'm also going back to using my home-made shampoo mix and taking 2Tbs ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) every day. I did this last year and I was down to 1 or 2 bites per day. Just forgot how bad it can get for me without taking all the precautions since it didn't seem so bad last year.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I get tons of mosquito larvae in my rain barrel; I always make sure I use up that water before the transform. I actually think that's a pretty good method at control.

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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I made a batch of repellent based on some recommended online. It has witch hazel, vinegar, water, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil. I need to add rubbing alcohol or vodka to it as a preservative but didn't have either. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but will let you know if I notice any improvement. I also saw one recommended adding neem oil... has anyone tried that in their bug spray? It's an interesting idea.

Oh and I read as many mosquito related threads as I could find here and am definitely going to try the fan idea! I'll also have to look into the mosquito coils that are more natural, especially if you didn't have trouble with your asthma around them. I was reading about how horrible most of them are for your health... something like smoking 100 cigarettes... no thanks!

Does anyone have any thoughts on my leaves and mulch situation? Could this be a contributor? I wonder if between my yard being bordered with gardens and bushes and my neighbors yard being a jungle, we've just sort of created a safe haven for them or something.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I was poking around looking for repellent recipes. Most of them use essential oils of rosemary, citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus, but in my ramblings I found this about a remedy for mosquitoes in the yard. It is made from 3 common ingredients and it might be worth a try. It is supposed to work for an extended time. BTW I use 70% alcohol straight up on my plants and as long as you don't do it in the heat of the day, it is fine. It does kill most bugs so it might not be that good for beneficials. I only spot spray. I have never used it area wide.
https://www.wect.com/story/3505494/homem ... uito-spray
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Ha! I have all of those ingredients handy :-() Our fridge is overflowing with beer left behind by people at our BBQ!

I wonder what about the combination does the trick and how harmful it would be to beneficials. Is it possible that I could spray at a certain time of day to target mosquitoes more specifically?

I would assume it works when they breathe it in?
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Ooh let us know! I would have to make a special effort to get some beer.

BTW I vaguely remember Listerine as one of MY spray's ingredients (also ACV). At the time, I thought it might be the eucalyptol and thymol.
Listerine ingredients
The active ingredients listed on Listerine bottles are essential oils which are menthol 0.042%, thymol 0.064%, methyl salicylate 0.06%, and eucalyptol 0.092%.
Listerine - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/listerine
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

I think in the article he said he sprayed everything on the property including the bushes and the commenter said that mosquitoes do like to hide out during the day in the bushes.

My rainbarrel is almost always full. I am bad about emptying it. It has so much algae now. I have a screen in it so it keep the mosquitoes out but I also add either some dish soap and throw a mosquito dunk in it once in a while. I may have to put some bleach in it now to kill the algae.
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Dragonflies!!! I officially spotted my first of the season darting around like crazy. I also noticed significantly fewer mosquitoes last night and didn't get a single bite this morning when I was watering and filling the feeders. A couple days ago I was constantly swatting and got numerous bites doing the same tasks. Fingers crossed that maybe we just had some kind of freak hatch episode last week with all the rain!
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Yay! Garden Patrol always comes through :-()
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Last evening-night it rained, so of course there were extra mosquitoes this humid morning. At first I was letting them bother me and get me exasperated, then I realized something: DON'T BE A VICTIM! Don't let them hunt YOU, hunt THEM. :evil:

...what do you need when you are hunting? Set up bait and lure them in, then get them. Right? Well, YOU are the ideal bait -- pheromones/sweat and blood odor, heat, carbon dioxide exhalation all of what attracts them, wrapped up in a single convenient package, and easily moved around. :wink:

Only a certain number of mosquitoes occupy an area, and it takes time for more to detect you. It FEELS like they are everywhere and swarming because you move around into different territories, then they ALL follow you around. SO pick your spot, start working and do the usual things like crouch and breath into the underbrush, disturb some foliage, then concentrate and as soon as you see or hear them, put everything down to free up your hands and watch.

Brush and shoo any that are around your head, force them down towards your torso and legs, and then slap them down. Easy even one handed when they land on you -- thank YOU! SLAP! Or you can make a video game out of it by following their back and forth flight patten with your eyes, then clapping your hands together where they are GOING to be. POW! One down!

It helps to slowly physically turn around, take a few steps, look up and down, turn your head. They seem to instinctively try to land on you and bite you in your blind spot -- other side of your hands and arms, below knees, behind legs, under the chin and jawline.

Once you clear an area, you'll have a few minutes of respite, so get what you wanted to do done in that area, then move on to the next spot. SHHHH! I'm hunting 'skeeters! :twisted:
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Re: Mosquito Control Needed

Usually for parties you can put out citronella torches along the perimeter and light up a lot of mosquito punks. A few mosquitoes still get through so it is not 100 %. They have these new mosquito wrist bands, but I don't know how well they work. They are a one time use only.
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