In the Pacific Northwest it’s understood that one day it can be drizzly, the next day 90 degrees. (It’s not unusual for our closets to have tank tops next to turtlenecks. You just never know!) With the constant change of weather you get busy with yard work in between rain storms. But *smack* these darn *smack* mosquitoes are driving me crazy! (I’m allergic to them so that makes it even worse.) And considering mosquitoes also carry the Zika virus, let’s deter these pests the best way we can. After researching natural ways to rid these highly annoying insects here are 5 tips to rid mosquitoes in your yard:
- Plant Marigolds – The bright marigold not only adds nice splashes of color to your garden borders and potted plants, it also gives off a scent which repels mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.
- Dump Standing Water – mosquito larvae can exist in as little as 2 tablespoons of standing water. Children’s toys are the #1 culprits (here’s looking at you sand pails and water tables!) These pests can develop in any size puddle that has been around for 4 days. I know it’s convenient to keep a pail of water near your plants for quicker watering, but know that this also enables the creation and housing for the nasty mosquito.
- Eliminate Decaying Foliage From Ground – Not only is removing fallen leaves from the yard better for your grass, it will eliminate a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Fallen leaves, over time, create mold and/or fungus and mosquitoes love that stuff! Mold/fungus is a sought-after meal for the mosquito so it’s best to remove leaves, branches, any plant from your yard that isn’t living.
- Fill Your Pond With Mosquito Eating Fish – Stock your ornamental pond with guppies, koi, or goldfish (most healthy, hungry fish will eliminate the majority of mosquito larvae from ponds).
- Remove Debris (a.k.a. Tires) From Yard– The used tire has become the most important domestic mosquito producer in this country. If you’ve done a little automotive repair, and have kept the task of “Take tire to recycling center” on your To-Do List too long, now’s the time to take it away and check it off your list.
These are a few tips that I hope will help you rid your yard of the highly annoying mosquito so that you can enjoy your time in the comfort and beauty of your own backyard.
(*** Information sources: Rutgers Dept. of Entomology – EarthEasy.com – Mr. Mister Mosquito Control)