j3707
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Ponds and Mosquitoes

What is your experience with ponds and mosquitoes? Are you able to keep your pond mosquito free?
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

I put a couple fish in my little barrel water garden. They ate all the larvae and also ate the adult mosquitoes we caught for them.

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applestar
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

My first year with a real pond, but I've always put one or more feeder goldfish from the pet store in all open buckets and containers of water, as well as my mini rice paddy garden, downspout rain garden, swales, etc. After rain, I empty any rainwater retaining containers into containers that HAVE goldfish in them.

Had a neighbor dispute going one year, and the said neighbor called and reported me to the township as source of their mosquito problems. Fortunately had a dialog going with the head of the department and he met with me when the mosquito inspector came to my garden.

Had an animated discussion with both gentlemen about my idea of an environmentally responsible organic gardenIng and mosquito control -- talking about my garden is my favorite past time :wink: ....The inspector checked my little containers and bogs, -- me dogging his footsteps and asking to see his little dipping cup and asking him to explain to me what he expected to see to judge it a fail -- and after a thorough inspection, signed off on a certificate of approval for my garden, and handed out mosquito control pamphlets to the neighbor.

All this to say, YEP! -- fish will take care of any mosquito concerns! I buy feeder goldfish and minnows like I said because they are easy and inexpensive, but I understand in some areas, you can get mosquitofish, sometimes through your local authority.

I also use Bt mosquito bits and dunks when appropriate/necessary in fish-less containers and in folds of plastic or tarp where rain could collect when we have DAYS of rain and I don't want to go out there.
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j3707
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Glad to hear you both have had good results with fish, it's my plan to rely on them as well. It'd be nice to have a few frogs move in to help out too. Glad to hear your situation turned out well applestar!
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Applestar, your neighbor sounds like one of my neighbors.

j3707, fish will eat frog and toad eggs and offspring. I don't have my inground ponds set up yet and hope the frogs/toads will use them when I do but there is the risk of the young being eaten.

We used to have a pile of tires back our woods, back in the day when it wasn't illegal. Every spring we had hundreds of little toadlets hopping out of those tire puddles. It was an awesome sight.

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applestar
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Yeah. Last summer, I had a container I had missed under the patio table and hurriedly tried to empty it, only to find a tree frog firmly attached to the inside rim and no mosquito larvae or eggs anywhere. :lol:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

j3707
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

It is a bummer, but I'd rather be mosquito free than have tadpoles. Maybe if we find frog eggs we can hatch some of them ourselves.
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes only need something like a teaspoon of water to hatch. But until then, the mosquitoes lay dormant in the ground. Fallen leaves around a property are like a jungle, a mosquito hatchery and a habitat for spiders and other insects. They can be in the lawn, waiting for the next rain or morning dew.

imafan26
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

I put a little dish soap or bleach in the water when I water bromeliads that like to have water in the cups. I do try to remove standing water, but with my jungle I don't always find every one. It is easier if you store pots and buckets upside down so they don't collect water when it rains. I have a couple of pots with built in saucers that are only a problem when it rains and I do have to remember to tip those pots. I have low areas in the yard and I have to refill them after a hard rain because the ponds reappear. Bt does help and then I use bleach or dish soap in my rainbarrel; bleach in the fountain and sometimes I have put dunks in them too. I have a sink strainer in the inlet of the rainbarrel, so that keeps the mosquitoes out most of the time. Mosquitoes are the worst 3 days after it rains so that is when I turn on the bug zapper too.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

j3707
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Funny thing is our mosquitoes only attack when I'm in the woods. The rest of my yard is basically mosquito free.
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Mosquito dunks are Bt and they are a good solution for places that need to have standing water. If a small pond has a fountain and waterfall, I am hoping that water is active enough not to get mosquitoes in it. For bird baths, you can use water wigglers:

Image

It has a couple little pendulum things that hang down into the water and keep moving. It can be solar powered or battery operated. Keeps the bird bath from getting mosquitoes or algae.

But I think I am going to need more than that. Chattanooga is VERY WET! It is full of rivers, streams, creeks, roadside ditches, etc that fill up, overflow, and turn into swamps when it rains and stay that way for some days after the rain. It seems like mosquito heaven. We already had a bunch of mosquitoes out in Feb. I read a recipe for mosquito repellent spray for your yard: blue mouthwash + epsom salts + beer, spray it over everything and theoretically mosquitoes stay away for a couple months. What do people think? Does that count as organic (what is in the mouthwash anyway?)? Is it likely to keep beneficial insects away too?
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Would you prefer your yard to smell like stale beer or maybe garlic?

Have you tried the garlic based repellant? It comes infused in ground corn cob. I remember trying it for a while.... I think I posted about it but can't remember if I thought it was effective or not. I did not like the idea of buying it all the time, only to "throw them out in the yard" as it were....

I think I was going to try home made mixture, but never got around to going on with that experiment. My focus of interest wanders sometimes sinc I have too many going on at once and more waiting on the back burner.... :>
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

I looked up blue mouthwash ingredients (ain't the internet wonderful? I just googled that phrase):

Active Ingredients: Thymol 0.064%, Eucalyptol 0.092%, Methyl Salicylate 0.060% and Menthol 0.042%.

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Alcohol 21.6%, Sorbitol Solution, Flavoring, Poloxamer 407, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Benzoate, and FD&C Green No. 3.

The active ingredients actually look pretty organic and OK. The inactive ingredients are worse. And 21% alcohol doesn't seem like a good thing to spray on your plants/ lawn. I wonder if you left it sitting in an open wide mouth container would the alcohol evaporate out of it?

I guess you could make your own solution of oil of thyme, eucalyptus oil, willow water, menthol or peppermint oil and water and leave all the other stuff out. Buying the oils would be expensive, but you wouldn't need much....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

You could try a mosquito plant. Only problem is it only works if you crush the leaves and are in range to smell it.
After a rain the botanical garden is loaded with mosquitoes because it takes so long to dry out. Then I just spray my clothes with deet.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Ponds and Mosquitoes

Yeah, despite the adverts there are really no plants that will keep mosquitoes out of your yard just by being there. Mosquitoes are quite happy to fly over them.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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