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Mosquitos

 
Brandon Monterosso
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So, I have a serious abundance of mosquitos in our permaculture area, its not huge, a standard suburban back yard. I know I really have a deficiency of something A friend of mine reminded me of when I was in boy scouts that we used to pick ferns and lay them around our tents and camping areas, as we were taught it repelled mosquitos.

South East Michigan, Zone 5ish

Anyone have any secrets to deal with mosquito issues? Other than repellant

Thanks!
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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A bad mosquito problem almost always means they are breeding somewhere nearby, most likely in rainwater accumulated in human trash of some sort. On a small lot the problem is exacerbated by the likelihood that this is likely on some neighbor's property rather than yours. Until the breeding sites are found and dealt with one way or another you will always have some no matter what you do to repel the adults. I have been around them so bad that I made a smudge pot and kept something smoldering in it while I gardened, standing in a cloud of smoke the while.
So walk your land, and the neighborhood, and try to spot the breeding sites. Cans, containers, tires, large pieces of plastic pooling rainwater, etc. are prime possibilities. Empty these and clean them up if possible. Also stagnant water that is ephemeral (that is, which dries up in drought and doesn't stay there year round)----this breeds mosquitoes, whereas permanent water with a full aquatic ecosystem in place usually breeds more mosquito predators than mosquitoes. If you suspect something like a ditch, pond, abandoned swimming pool, or some such that is holding water for months, you might contrive, whether with permission or not, to introduce mosquito fish or other mosquito predators into that site.
Sometimes breeding sites are hidden. I tracked one bad problem to a badly leveled gutter directly overhead with rainwater puddled in the blind end. They can also breed in knotholes in old trees, high overhead and out of sight, but stump holes near the ground are more likely (sweetgum is bad this way in the South, because the outer layer of the stump stays alive while the center rots out)
 
Nick Kitchener
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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We get them like crazy here in Canada. Especially around raspberry bushes. No standing water to speak of either so I'm curious as to the root cause.

Those CO2 traps work but with clouds of mozzies, you need them operating for some time before you notice anything.
 
Alder Burns
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It takes less water than one might think. I've seen them do it in rainwater puddled up in fallen leaves. Cracked bamboo....and perhaps other hollow-stemmed plants. It all depends on how wet or dry the weather is and whether these tiny water points will dry up or not within the two weeks or so needed for them to develop.....
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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Counterintuitive as it might seem, a very good design feature for mosquito issues is a fully stocked garden pond, containing a complete ecosystem with plants and fish. Mosquito predators like dragonflies and amphibians will be attracted to and breed in this permanent water, and will not only control mosquitoes breeding in it, but will multiply and disperse into the surrounding landscape to control adults coming in from outside. Then there are those who swear by providing housing for martens and bats.....but I have no experience with either....
 
Burra Maluca
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Here's a link to a page about 11 plants that repel mosquitos

 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Burra Maluca wrote:Here's a link to a page about 11 plants that repel mosquitos



I've got 10 out of 11; all except the pennyroyal. Yet I still have to use my mosquito tonic to keep the pests at bay. Maybe in my next life I can come back as a pitcher plant and eat them.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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