Looking for ways to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be bitten by mosquitoes while relaxing or working outside? Follow each of these steps to reduce mosquitoes on your property.
Plants That Mosquitoes Dislike
Also known as fever or citronella grass, lemongrass can help with problematic munchers aka mosquitoes. You can start lemongrass from seed or you can buy the plant. Lemongrass works well in pots or in a sunny and spacious area. Most people prefer growing from propagation because growing from seeds takes much longer. They will spread so anticipate the need for some space. Although very tolerable to hot and humid climates, you will need to water the lemongrass frequently.
With such pretty fuzzy flowers, why not have a few in the garden? The flowers are tassel-like and dense and produce bursts of either blue, pink, or white. Two popular varieties include “Hawaii Blue” and “Hawaii Royal.” It produces coumarin which is widely used in commercial insecticides.
Natural Predators of Mosquitoes
Photo and Shop Credit: Good Riddance Farm
Add Bat Houses to Your Property
Setup a bat house and your mosquito population will almost certainly become lower. Bats are one of the primary predators of night-flying insects. In addition to eating pesky mosquitoes, they will also consume garden and crop pests, including stink bugs, spotted cucumber beetles, corn ear-worm moths, and emerald ash borers. Setting up a bat house can also prevent bats from living in a human’s home.
Photo and Shop Credit: Ark Workshop
Add Homes for Toads
Toads can eat over 100 insects per night. They’ll eat worms, slugs, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. With these large appetites, why wouldn’t you want to setup a toad-friendly environment in your yard and garden?
To attract toads, you can put a shallow dish or top to a birdbath with some water in a shaded area. You can also provide shelter by placing toad houses around your property. You will want to place the toad house in a shaded area that stays moist. Some options include underneath a bush, near a gutter downspout, air-conditioner drip area, or in any shallow area that collects rainwater.
Photo and Shop Credit: Farmbrook Designs
Photo and Shop Credit: Dawn Davare Designs
Check out this thread on All Things Plants for directions on how to make cute toad houses. If you don’t want to cut a hole into a pot, you can also put it on its side and bury it partially in the ground. By burying it partially, you allow the toad to have a digging area to make it comfier. You want an opening that is large enough for the toad to fit, but not so large that a predator can reach the toad. Another option is to arrange flat rocks, keeping a small space underneath. If you want something that will stay in place, you can use concrete and then put the rocks on top so it looks more natural.
You can also put out a solar-powered yard light near your toad house to attract insects. Remember to try to avoid lawn and garden chemicals. The skin of toads is highly permeable and chemicals can easily kill toads.
Minimize Stagnant Water
Mosquitoes typically deposit clusters of eggs on the surface of stagnant water or areas that frequently flood. When the eggs hatch into larvae, the stagnant water provides organic matter for food. By removing containers, old tires, and any items that can hold water, you’ll help reduce the mosquito population on your property.
The Color of Your Clothes Matters
Two genera of mosquitoes, Aedes and Ochlerotatus, prefer dark-colored clothes over white, khaki, green, or yellow. According to studies, not all mosquitoes seem to have a color preference, but just in case, you should try to wear light colors over dark colors.
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