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Mosquito control?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the best place to post this... our yard seems to be a mosquito hotspot, they are all over!! The lot next door is abandoned so the grass is pretty tall, and the other 2 sides of our property are surrounded by small wooded areas... so yeah... lots of bugs!!! Is there something we can plant (or spread/spray/whatever) that will repel them or something???? I'm annoyed that we can't go outside without getting eaten alive...
post #2 of 18

Bill Mollison, co-founder of the Permaculture movement, might have said "You don't have a mosquito problem. You have a bat deficit."


Before considering combating them head on, find out if they are breeding anywhere nearby, like in open rain barrels or pots or just junk.  We have a garbage-can habitrail for a family of goldfish, and they eat any larva.  They overwinter here, too (we live in the Pacific Northwest.)  None of this will actually help you with the ones you have now, or prevent attracting them from further away.  So, short of keeping yourself covered in smoke from a fire, I have no practical suggestions.  Hopefully others can add to this.

post #3 of 18

A few ideas, I guess - Could you mow the abandoned lot next to you? That might help a bit. I also agree with the PP on trying to find any spots where water is collecting and they might be breeding. If you find those, you may be able to knock them back a bit.


And if there are bats in your area, a bat house is also a great idea for a long-term solution. We have an insane amount of mosquitoes here, but stay at a state park every year that has 30 or so bat houses. There are almost no mosquitoes - it is wonderful! Attracting certain birds to your yard could also help - our community garden is in the process of putting in a bluebird trail for this very reason.


For a short term fix, though, covering up and using some bug spray is probably your best bet. I've used some natural sprays that have worked quite well for a short time. In my experience, you generally have to reapply them every 15-20 minutes, though. Lately, I've just been dressing us all in long pants, long shirts, and hats (thin, light material so it doesn't get too hot) and spraying the clothes with a spray with picaridin or DEET. Based on recommendations of a neurologist I know, we don't use anything above a concentration of 11% (which really means that we're using the 7% DEET, since that's what I can find in the store). I also do have those silly-looking mosquito netting hats. They do work.


Good luck - hope you find something that works!



post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
The surrounding properties are not ours so we can't really go out there & check if they have standing water. And the abandoned lot IS owned by someone so we can't just mow it, though we've been talking to the town to see about finding the owner because there are other issues with the lot...

Bat houses -- that's a good idea. I don't know if we have bats around here but I'll look into it!!

Are there any plants that repel mosquitoes? Or is it more about attracting their predators?
post #5 of 18

Swallows really help too. Check what species breed in your area and put up some houses/ledges for them.

Dragonflies are also great predators, but you'd need to establish a pond for them.

And definitelly get bats involved! It may take a year or so for bats to start using the houses, but its well worth it.


We live right beside a lake with a lot of marsh. Despite the prime breeding habitat, there are very few mosquitoes that survive the swallows, dragonflies & bats.

post #6 of 18

I may be in the minority, but if the property is abandoned and causing problems, I wouldn't hesitate to get out there and check it out myself, or at least call the property owner myself.  Records like that are available online.  But if nothing happened and I wasn't able to enjoy my yard I would definitely start mowing, or at least look for standing water in tires, buckets, anything.

post #7 of 18

speaking of bats ...  I live in a townhouse in suburbia, would I be able to host a family of bats?

post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by abiyhayil View Post

speaking of bats ...  I live in a townhouse in suburbia, would I be able to host a family of bats?

Don't see why not if you've got a suitable location. Here are some tips.

post #9 of 18

In order to have mosquitos, you have to have standing water for them to breed.  They sell larvae disks at most home improvement stores that you cn throw in the standing water and it will kill only the mosquito larvae. I am usually more for eliminating the sources, but if they are not on your property it might help.  If it is a natural pond, carp will eat the larvae quite happily.  I do not know of any plants that will repel them, but citronella torches on the edge of the yard work pretty well. Our HOA would not allow us to put up a bat house, but my sister has one, we just have geckos. 

post #10 of 18

In my state (due to west nile) the county can go onto ANY property and order water removed and also fine you. I would check out all the local agencies and see what can be done-for us it doesn't matter if the property is private or not---------I got my neighbor to remove their "green-watered" kiddie pool-they take it very seriously here!


as the other said---their must be a water source or you wouldn't have the problem

post #11 of 18

This can be a serious issue, as mosquitoes can multiply incredibly fast. I would definitely recommend attacking standing water, but also keeping the lot clean and cut so water will not collect as easily. If you really can't do anything about it then set up some mosquito lights or traps outside, or even plant marigolds (they will feed off those instead of human skin). If it becomes overwhelming, consider hiring a pest control expert to spray as a last resort.

post #12 of 18



...plant marigolds (they will feed off those instead of human skin).


Um, since when do marigolds contain blood? 

post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post



Um, since when do marigolds contain blood? 

...or mosquitoes eat off of human skin. ;) I know mosquitoes do eat nectar (blood is just needed for producing their eggs), but I have never heard of them eating marigold nectar specifically. In fact, marigolds are often planted to repel insects (although it is questionable whether this really works for something like mosquitoes). Also, I wouldn't bother with a mosquito light - mosquitoes really aren't attracted to light - they are attracted to CO2 and other chemicals in our breath.


post #14 of 18

I bought 2 mosquito plants and planted them out near the kids play area.   I only have 2, but they work pretty well IMO.  My YDD gets eaten alive and reacts horribly to them.   (Berts Bee res Q oinment is the BEST for them!)  If go out to fire pit, if we have a fire she's okay, the garden, not a chance even the deck, but she can play at dusk in the sandbox (near the plants) and she is fine. 

post #15 of 18

We use the homeopathic ledum to keep them away. I used to get eaten alive but never get a bite if I take ledum before going out in the evening with the mosquitoes ( unless I forget)

post #16 of 18

purple martins will eat them too, i think.  i would totally search for standing water like pps said. 

mosquitoes love and adore me.. they will eat me before anyone else i know.  i noticed one day as a last resort that putting lavender essential oil on myself kept them away.  lavender is cheap and i like the smell much more than citronella or some of the other mosquito repellants.

post #17 of 18

Some mosquitoes can breed in an incredibly small amount of water, and even lay their eggs in dry spots where water occasionally pools.  I've read that they can even breed in dead tree limbs.  We have plenty of bats in natural habitat and still get inundated.  In 5 yrs the most progress I've made was by adding a birdbath to our property and putting mosquito dunks in it religiously.  (A PP referred to them as mosquito disks, but they are sold as "dunks".  As they sit in the water they break up and release BT, which kills the larvae.  The water is still safe for the birds and any other animals that might drink from it.  Our town's public works has just started giving dunks out for free to residents.)  I think the birdbath makes a deceptively attractive breeding ground, so we end up with fewer mosquitoes than we would have had, but we still don't spend much time in the yard after Memorial Day.  It does bring in birds, too.

post #18 of 18

I have heard that catnip repels mosquitoes, but it would attract cats.    I know that several of the natural bug repellents I have seen all contain catnip oil.

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