Author Topic: Mosquitoes in the south  (Read 8436 times)

atlantalee

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Mosquitoes in the south
« on: April 26, 2013, 10:53:12 AM »
Anyone have any luck with mosquito treatments for their lawn?  My pest control guy said that the sprays used to kill the eggs in the grass were a waste of money and he couldn't, in good conscience sell, sell me on the service.  I'd really like to use my back porch this summer without getting eaten alive.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 12:45:32 PM »
Free-range chickens in your yard will eat the larvae.

atlantalee

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 01:25:20 PM »
As much as my dogs would love to have some free-range chickens to chase around, I'm looking for a slightly less expensive and time-consuming solution.

swick

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 01:54:04 PM »
This was kicking around Facebook a while ago:

http://www.neatorama.com/2006/05/31/diy-mosquito-trap/

Haven't had a chance to test it yet as our snow is still hanging around, but given we live in the land of Mosquitoes, I'll definitely be trying it.

Tyler

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 02:28:33 PM »
The most important thing you can do is to eliminate standing water. So when it rains, make sure nothing outside (pots, clogged gutters, etc) collects water and look for ways to eliminate low spots in your lawn that don't drain properly.

A birdhouse may help by attracting mosquito-eaters. If you happen to live in an area with bat populations (like Austin) I've also seen people with bat houses.  Bats are natural mosquito eating machines.

Spork

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 04:41:16 PM »
I've had marginal luck with Mosquito Magnet type mosquito traps.

Pros:  it does catch some.  More importantly, it seems to confuse the others.  They pester the magnet instead of eating you.

Cons: it's expensive.  And it runs on propane, so it has continuing expense. 

Hint: You seriously have to experiment with location.  Prevailing wind direction and terrain and plant cover all comes into this. 

We used one for a couple of years.  One season I couldn't get it to light.  I set it aside thinking "I'll fix that later."  Later has never happened yet.

justchristine

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 05:21:08 PM »
I'm terribly allergic to Mosquitos (welts nearly the size of your palm from one bite) so I've tried any and everything to keep them away when I'm outside.  The simplest solution that I've found is just having a box fan set on low blowing across the seating area.  The little pests can't fly against a breeze.  So if you can't manage to kill them off at the larvae stage, a cheap fan will do wonders.

Rural

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 05:22:12 PM »
Eat lots of garlic for a partial solution. Alternately, cut out sweets completely for a complete solution.

Dee

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 05:45:24 PM »
Thanks for the tip, justchristine! I have a sensitivity to mosquitos and my bites are bigger and more irritating than average. My work-around as a kid was to spend my outdoor time in the water. While I still like being in the water, having the option of being outside and on dry land would be nice too. I'll have to implement the fan idea.

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 01:14:15 PM »
I admit to confusion. Mosquitoes breed on grass in the South?
Ours require standing water-- anything from a swamp to an old tyre, but they seem to need the water.

The fan and such are good solutions, but some will still get through.
Have you considered screening off the porch?


GuitarStv

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 02:03:43 PM »
I worked in pest control for the a few years treating catch basins in cities (paid a good chunk of my way through university with that job) with growth hormone to control mosquitoes after a west nile scare in the mid 2000s.  The only ways that I know of to prevent bites involve using sprays with DEET, covering up exposed skin, and staying in screened off areas.

You will never get rid of enough of the standing water to prevent mosquitoes.  They can hatch larvae in a teaspoon of water.  The sprays that you can use are pretty environmentally damaging, and won't prevent mosquitoes from nearby being blown in during rainfalls.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 02:10:54 PM »
The best solution I've found is hanging around my lil brother - kid's a mosquito magnet...

Does it help to cover up? Maybe with some light material like linen that breathes but keeps legs/arms covered? I had this linen jacket I used to wear all the time during summers to avoid burning/bites.

KingMe

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 02:13:24 PM »
Before some neighbors and I got our areas treated monthly, I couldn't be outside during the summer. Our pest control company uses something called Defend, or something like that. It's supposedly not all that damaging, but was devised to keep young children off the plants and grass for a day or two after application. This year the company is offering an organic treatment that requires two visits per month. I think this stuff is available to spray yourself. It's best to get some neighbors to join the effort because insects don't respect property lines.

Rollin

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 02:54:27 PM »
I admit to confusion. Mosquitoes breed on grass in the South?
Ours require standing water-- anything from a swamp to an old tyre, but they seem to need the water.

The fan and such are good solutions, but some will still get through.
Have you considered screening off the porch?

This^

They need standing water to lay their eggs.  Only a small amount (needs like a 1/4 cup or even less) so I'd go around the house and tip everything over - look in your gutters too.  They are likely coming from neighbor's yards as well, or a nearby pond.  Do you have a mosquito control district?  They can often come by and spray ponds etc. with a larva that eats the mosquito larvae.  I would not advise nasty chemicals - you may have negative long term health effects from that.

I use fans and screens where possible.

thegreenworkbench

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 10:11:55 AM »
I am also a mosquito magnet.  Woke up one night after camping in southern Virginia with over 130 bites, and that is after spraying my campsite!  My solution was inadvertant; my job moved me to Western Washington.  Mosquitos still exist and I am still bitten by every single one, but I have managed to camp in the summer and only get 1-2 bites.  What a relief!  (and I haven't seen a tick here yet whereas in Virgina we got them after every jaunt through the woods)

Dee18

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2013, 09:11:33 PM »
Another vote for the fan...though I use an oscillating one.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2013, 05:29:23 AM »
I admit to confusion. Mosquitoes breed on grass in the South?
Ours require standing water-- anything from a swamp to an old tyre, but they seem to need the water.

The fan and such are good solutions, but some will still get through.
Have you considered screening off the porch?

This^

They need standing water to lay their eggs.  Only a small amount (needs like a 1/4 cup or even less) so I'd go around the house and tip everything over - look in your gutters too.  They are likely coming from neighbor's yards as well, or a nearby pond.  Do you have a mosquito control district?  They can often come by and spray ponds etc. with a larva that eats the mosquito larvae.  I would not advise nasty chemicals - you may have negative long term health effects from that.

I use fans and screens where possible.

Agree with this, they need water to breed but very little of it....I mean if there is even a drop in a leaf and it doesn't evaporate they can use that.  Also, mosquitos travel up to 300ft, which is the real issue....draw a circle around your house with a radius of a football field and that is the area that you would have to keep completely clear of all water....not real practical so the fan and DEET are best options.

EllenS

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 01:42:45 PM »
We are in your adjoining state, and one thing that has helped us is to plant bug-repellent perennials. (which also happen to be pretty and smell great to a human)
right now around the back patio we have
Marigolds (annuals, but you can save seeds each year or buy the seeds for next to nothing)
Lantana (also attracts hummingbirds, which eat mosquitos)
Thyme
Catnip
We plant to also put in lemongrass soon.
If you have enough airspace you can put in a purple martin house, or a bat house - they eat their weight in mosquitos daily.
We are experimenting with a new type of bug repellent by Badger, that is a rub-on stick made with beeswax, olive oil and herbs - if we get good results we can DIY it.  Smells awesome.

reverend

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2013, 02:15:27 PM »
There's a bottle of stuff you attach to the garden hose and spray the yard with. Red bottle at Home Depot and Lowe's.  I've used it with great results. I think the mosquitoes just hit up the neighbors instead. 
The point was that I can be in the garage or front porch/yard and not get murdered by them, though one or two might get through sporadically.

The bottle is about $7, covers about 5000sqf they claim. I spray up a foot or so on the side of the house and around windows and doors, then cover the yard, driveway etc.

It's the only way I survive the skeeter season. :D

PGH

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2013, 02:39:30 PM »
We also had a mosquito magnet, which worked like a charm until it went on the fritz.

I'm not a huge fan of repellant on/near my skin, but we eventually bought a few of those OFF! Clip on Repellants. It's a little fan that sprays repellant, which may or may not be repugnant to you. For me, it's made the difference between being able to work in the garden/dine al fresco or stay hidden in the house all spring and summer.

We even took ours camping recently and they kept all of us bite-free.

Secret Stache

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 01:00:53 PM »
We also had a mosquito magnet, which worked like a charm until it went on the fritz.

I'm not a huge fan of repellant on/near my skin, but we eventually bought a few of those OFF! Clip on Repellants. It's a little fan that sprays repellant, which may or may not be repugnant to you. For me, it's made the difference between being able to work in the garden/dine al fresco or stay hidden in the house all spring and summer.

We even took ours camping recently and they kept all of us bite-free.

I'll second the OFF! clip on.  I clip it to my belt when i'm working outdoors and it has proven to be fairly effective. 

Growing up we lived in a home surrounded by rice fields so mosquitoes were horrible.  We kept oscillating fans at each doorway because they would gather in the corners there.  Eventually the corners of the doorways turned black because of the mosquito caucuses splattered about.  But it worked, otherwise a couple hundred would make it inside each time you opened the door.  Every evening before bed I would close my door and do a quick sweep of the room to ensure none had snuck their way in.   

Rollin

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Re: Mosquitoes in the south
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2013, 07:47:33 AM »
A little more comprehensive look at things, plus a video:
______

Help break the mosquito cycle

With the recent rains from Tropical Storm Andrea, mosquitoes are again on the wing in Pinellas County.  Pinellas County Mosquito Control technicians are aggressively treating known breeding areas by ground and by air, as well as responding to calls from citizens.

Technicians have noted that many homes they’ve inspected also have items or areas that contain standing water – the ideal breeding condition for mosquitoes – and are contributing to the mosquito problem.   

Pinellas County Mosquito Control asks all citizens to do their part to reduce the mosquito population.  Remember that mosquitoes only need ¼ to ½ inch of standing water for the larvae to survive. Some simple suggestions are to:

•   Empty water from flowerpots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires, and buckets; any item that can hold water.
•   Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
•   Flush ornamental bromeliads or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.   
•   Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water. 
•   Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly. 
•   Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
•   Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
•   Cover rain barrels with screening.
•   Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas, around septic tanks and heat pumps. 
•   Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage, and prevent future puddling. 

Protect your skin from mosquito bites when outdoors; wear mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus) or long-sleeves and pants.  The threat of virus, although minimal, is present throughout the year, and precautions should be taken during outdoor activities.  No virus has been detected in the County’s sentinel chickens this year. 

By taking these simple preventative measures, citizens can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in our county and minimize mosquito-borne diseases.   

A video about mosquito control may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRXnhohPtsY.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 07:51:34 AM by Rollin »