Summer is one of the most enjoyable times to be out enjoying nature in Michigan, whether in a park, camping, or in your own backyard. Because of milder temperatures and sufficient rain, things are still really green and pleasant. The only downside? In many places mosquitos are thriving and taking over.
People know how to protect themselves from mosquitoes if they’re going to be outside for a short while: bug spray, citronella candles, and long pants or long-sleeved shirts. But how to do they protect their outdoor spaces from being overrun? It seems counterproductive to spend time and money creating a beautiful perennial garden if you can’t enjoy it when it’s most beautiful.
Well, first, it’s important to understand how mosquitoes breed. They need to lay their eggs in water, but, in order for their larvae to successfully hatch, that water needs to be stagnant and free of natural predators. A natural pond is not a mosquito breeding ground, but a large puddle is. Any shallow body of water that is present for more than a week can result in mosquitoes. Generally speaking, they need between one and two weeks to mature.
So if you have a stream running through your property, this should not be a problem. Koi ponds are deep enough not to breed mosquitoes. Instead you need to watch out for things like flooded or marshy grass, children’s wading pools, buckets or watering cans, and anywhere else water naturally collects. The next time it rains, do a survey of conditions on your property. You’ll probably be surprised to see how hospitable your landscaping is for bugs. Remove any standing water. This may require some landscaping adjustments or changing the position of a downspout or gutter.
For deliberately placed standing water, like bird baths or koi ponds, placing a Bt (Bacillus thuringensis) doughnut will keep mosquitoes from breeding there without causing harm to birds or fish. There is a sprinkle form of it available as well. There are granular products for wet lawns as well that contain natural oils from plants like mint, lemongrass, and garlic that mosquitoes naturally avoid. Adding plants like bee balm, marigolds, or catnip to your landscaping is another natural and beautiful solution.
Mosquitoes really avoid the scent of lemons which is why burning citronella candles or torches are another remedy for a deck or patio overrun by mosquitoes. In a pinch, putting out rotating fans will help as well as mosquitoes will not stay in windy places.
The best mosquito fighting strategy is to address any standing water problems around your home or landscaping, placing mosquito repelling plants strategically, and then using short-term solutions like citronella candles when necessary. If PROCARE can assist with solving any landscaping issues causing this kind of problem, we would be happy to help.