It’s very important to keep mosquitoes away from your garden because throughout the years, they have transmitted many diseases like dengue, yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and several more. Mosquitoes are also responsible for spreading heartworm disease in cats and dogs. So it’s a serious health concern for your family and pets. You can control mosquitoes by using various types of commercial pesticides available in the market. However if you don’t want to use these chemicals in your garden, you can still control them by cleaning your garden, using natural oils, growing some mosquito repellent plants, using mosquito traps, etc. Mosquitoes bite during the day and night, live indoors and outdoors and search for warm places as temperatures begin to drop. Some will hibernate in enclosed spaces like garages, sheds and inside homes to survive cold temperatures. Mosquitoes prefer temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit and can live in almost any environment with the exception of extreme cold weather.
Growing Mosquito Repelling Plants
Most mosquito repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying insects away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden. But growing mosquito repelling plants isn’t an effective way to keep mosquitoes away because the plants are unable to release enough oil into the air to repel insects. However you can still get some protection from mosquitoes by growing them in your garden because they are not totally ineffective, they are just not very effective mosquito repellents. Some of these plants including lavender, marigold, citronella grass, rosemary and scented geraniums are beautiful additions for your garden.
Essential Oils that Repel Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell and that’s how they find humans and animals as a blood source. But some scents are unappealing for them. You can make these scents by extracting essential oils from different types of plants including citronella, Peppermint, basil, lemon balm, marigold, lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus. When you apply these essential oils directly on your skin, mosquitoes won’t like it and they will stay away from you. If you don’t want to extract these essential oils by yourself or purchase them from a shop, applying the crushed leaves to your skin will also work.
Mosquito Traps to Protect Your Home and Garden
Other than the methods I mentioned above, you can use mosquito traps to control mosquitoes in your garden. These traps are very effective and they can significantly reduce mosquitoes in your yard. Some high end mosquito traps can handle large areas up to one full acre of land. The traps are designed to attract and capture mosquitoes by using warm UV light and carbon dioxide. Very often these high end mosquito traps are expensive, so if you don’t want to pay a premium price to buy them, you can make one by yourself at home. Usually homemade traps are less effective but still a good option to reduce mosquitoes in your garden. You can find plenty of tutorials about homemade mosquito traps on YouTube.
Dragonflies and Predatory Fish
Other than the methods mentioned above, you can use dragonflies and predatory fish to control mosquitoes in your garden. Dragonfly larvae feed on mosquito larvae and adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes. Sometimes a single adult dragonfly can eat more than fifty mosquitoes per day. So this is an effective natural method to keep the mosquito populations under control. A small pond with some rocks and vegetation that grows out of the water will be a good place to attract dragonflies to your garden.
Gambusia, mollies, Siamese fighting fish also known as betta and gourami fish are some of the predatory fish species that feed on mosquito eggs and larvae. They are hardy and capable of living in stagnant water. A dozen of these fish can eat thousands of mosquito eggs and larvae every day. So you can easily control mosquitoes in your garden by introducing these predatory fish species to your garden ponds. You can buy them from an aquarium or sometimes local mosquito control programs provide them for free.
Get Rid of Stagnant Water
You can easily reduce the mosquito populations in your garden by eliminating the standing water around your house. Something as small as a bottle cap can be a good breeding place for mosquitoes, so always keep the gutters clean, remove unwanted used tyres, discarded cans and buckets from your garden, keep the trash cans covered all the time and check plates under your flowerpots at least twice a week.
Mosquito control is an important public health practice throughout the world because it helps to protect public health and the environment and improve the quality of life. There are two main methods to control mosquitoes including chemical control methods and nonchemical control methods. If you choose to use the first method to control mosquitoes, there are plenty of commercially made pesticides available at the market. However, if you choose to control mosquitoes using nonchemical methods which I recommend over the chemical methods, you can use mosquito repelling plants, some types of essential oils, mosquito traps, predatory fish, dragonflies and bats. Regardless of the method you are going to use, don’t forget to eliminate standing water around your house because these are the places where mosquitoes breed rapidly without your attention.
Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes
- Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals.
- Only female mosquitoes bite to feed on your blood because protein and other compounds in blood help them to produce their eggs.
- Smoke is a natural mosquito repellent.
- Mosquito resistant clothing is a good option to keep annoying mosquitoes away from you.
- Mosquitoes can’t survive in cold temperatures.
- There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes.
- A mosquito can drink up to three times its weight in blood.
- Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time.
- The average mosquito lifespan is less than two months.
- Mosquitoes have been around since the Jurassic period.