Controlling Mosquitos the Natural Way
If you grew up playing outdoors in Georgia, you are well aware of mosquitos and how big of a nuisance they can be. In addition to annoying and often painful bites that they produce, they can also carry diseases such as the West Nile Virus. Conversely, applying chemicals that keep away these pests can also play a part in long term health concerns. So what are you to do? It seems like a catch-22, however there’s a solution. Natural mosquito control is a great alternative for the health-conscious family. In a broad sense, natural mosquito control means any mosquito control that does not involve chemicals applied to your body or your lawn. Here are some ways you can keep those disease carrying nuscainses away, and you can enjoy your outdoor space to the very fullest.
Plant Oils: Citronella would fall under this category. In addition to this already popular method, castor bean plants and catnip plants can be used to ward off these vampiric creatures. Some people choose to burn a citronella candle, while others find more benefit in putting on their body. For the latter, citronella is often used in addition to other oils, such as such as castor bean or catnip. Avon’s “Skin-So-Soft” is a popular mosquito control product that incorporates citronella.
The Mosquito Magnet: if gassing these blood hungry critters to death is more your style, the mosquito magnet may be the choice for you. The mosquito magnet gives off a gas that simulates human breath. This is turn lures mosquitoes into it’s chamber of demise. It could be argued that this is not a “natural” or “organic” way to go about things, but it beats spraying chemicals directly on your body or your lawn.
Mosquitos are a slave to fashion: As odd it may seem, the outfit you decide to put on that day may determine how popular you are with the mosquitos. The next time you put on that chic all black outfit, remember that mosquitoes are drawn to dark colored clothing. Ditch the drab and dreary clothing for light and colorful garments. The mosquitos will be the only ones complaining.
Nip it in the bud: There must be an easier way, right? Rubbing yourself in oils and having a fashion crisis can’t be the only ways you can avoid these pests. Instead of waiting for these creatures to sprout wings and take over both land and sky, why not get them when they are vulnerable? It just makes sense to attack the larvae or mosquito breeding ground, squashing the problem before it even begins. Standing water is ground zero when it comes to mosquito infestations. Eliminate that and you’re already a step ahead of them. You could also kill the larvae while they are still in the water, it’s much easier than swatting full grown and air borne mosquitos. Bt bacteria can be used for this, they kill off the larvae but not other life forms. A mosquitofish can be used to eat the larvae too, taking a natural approach. Here is some standing water that may slip your mind, but might also be a haven for mosquito larvae:
- Water buckets and rain barrels
- Bottles and cans
- Empty plastic pots from the nursery
- Old car tires
- Boat tarps or pool covers
- Uneven areas in lawns or gardens
- Clogged rain gutters and clogged drains
- Bird baths and water bowls for pets
- Seepage from septic tanks
For the water that is not disposable, the following can be done:
- Keep your swimming pool clean, aerated, and chlorinated.
- A bacteria called “Bti” (Bacillus thuringiensis)
- Aerate artificial ponds
- Avoid dense vegetation in artificial ponds, the larvae can hide from the fish that way.
- Stock artificial ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae such as minnows, goldfish, and the infamous Gambusia affinis (the mosquitofish.)