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mosquito control

 
paul wheaton
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In another forum, folks were talking about all sorts of toxic ways to control mosquitoes. 

I put in my non toxic solutions which I felt were much better, but they seem to fall on deaf ears. 

So I thought I would come here and say it, just so the words might be appreciated.

And once I say it, I suspect everybody here will be thinking "well, yeah - duh!"

First, for bodies of water:  either eliminate the bodies of water (like old tires) or for things like watering tanks, toss in a couple of feeder goldfish.  They cost about a dime apiece.  Maybe it's a good time to stock that pond with just a dozen trout. 

Time to explore a bat house!  Complete with proper installation - cuz if you don't put them in just the right spot, they don't work worth a damn.  Maybe install more than one bat house.





 
monica jenkins
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What do you think about adding Bt israelensis to outdoor water sources? Does it have an adverse effect? I see it advertised in organic type catalogs...
 
paul wheaton
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I think BT is great stuff.  However, I read something once (from an unreliable source) that said that most forms of BT are GMO's.  I haven't used any BT since.  If I couldn't solve the problem any other way, I would use BT. 

In the case of skeeters:  goldfish are way cheaper.  And I like the idea of ponds having something that I eat that eats the skeeters - rather than BT.

 
Gwen Lynn
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I'm curious what permies do when they are being bombarded by mosquitoes? I understand about controlling where they breed, but what is recommended for repellent?
 
Leah Sattler
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is BT what is in 'mosquito dunks'? thats what I am currently using in a ornamental pond. it needs to be set up with a pump and filter and some goldfish but Its not in the budget right now.

I suppose there are a number of things that might discourage skeeters on the body. citronella of course and mabye clove? its going to be hard to find something natural that works as well as regular bug sprays
 
Gwen Lynn
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Yep, mosquito dunks are BT. Dunno what i'd do without them. House next door is vacant/foreclosed. I periodically lob a couple dunks over the fence onto the water filled pool cover. Just glad I can reach it, because I throw like a girl! LOL! 
 
                                  
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I read in one of the Permaculture books that garlic does the job.  I think it said that a simple garlic clove crushed in a small pond once a week does the trick.  Anyone ever tried that?
 
Gwen Lynn
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I'd try the garlic trick. The good think about the mosquito dunks is it doesn't matter how deep the water is. The amount of dunk used is based on surface area.

My question has to do with keeping the mosquitoes off of me! I don't see coating myself in garlic juice as an option! 
 
                                  
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Sorry, I meant to say a garlic clove crushed ON the pond, not in.  I think it's the thin coat of garlic oil on the surface that repels the mosquitoes, if I remember correctly.


 
Leah Sattler
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Gwen Lynn wrote:
I'd try the garlic trick. The good think about the mosquito dunks is it doesn't matter how deep the water is. The amount of dunk used is based on surface area.

My question has to do with keeping the mosquitoes off of me! I don't see coating myself in garlic juice as an option! 


oh why not! you dont' think you dh would find you attractive if you were doused in garlic juice

my grandma always smeared vanilla all over me and told me kept the skeeters off. I still always ended up with tons of bites.

if I were to experiment I would start with an infusion of black pepper and add some clove oil and a bit of soap to disperse it. maybe a bit of cedar oil too.
 
                          
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Gwen Lynn wrote:
I'm curious what permies do when they are being bombarded by mosquitoes? I understand about controlling where they breed, but what is recommended for repellent?


I use a mixture of baby oil, detol and a few drops of tee tree oil, keeps the pesky buggers away
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I wonder if a bird on one's shoulder might be of use...like a pirate would have.



Ran Prieur writes that he hunts and eats as mosquitoes as thoroughly as he can. He claims that this takes significant time, but does work eventually. If my area had mosquito problems as bad as his, I might consider befriending a smaller creature (with faster reflexes and more of a taste for mosquitoes) to do the work for me, but I have to admire the directness of Ran's method.
 
Leah Sattler
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hmmm...trained bats? yes, that would be better than smearing garlic over oneself.......
 
charles c. johnson
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try brown mouth wash on ur skin works awesome
my state was #1 in west nile
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh my folks - I've posted this before - the absolute best mosquito repellant I've ever used is the herb lemon balm! It grows like crazy (in the mint family??) and all you have to do is rub the fresh leaves on your skin.

Smells a lot like citronella, but lighter lemony/nicer, and doesn't leave anything visible on your skin. I used to always pack some in the cooler when we went camping. It's the best!
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Ran Prieur writes that he hunts and eats as mosquitoes as thoroughly as he can. He claims that this takes significant time, but does work eventually. If my area had mosquito problems as bad as his, I might consider befriending a smaller creature (with faster reflexes and more of a taste for mosquitoes) to do the work for me, but I have to admire the directness of Ran's method.


I've read this three times and I can't seem to wrap my head around what this person does.

A little more help?


 
paul wheaton
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I've heard that the garlic thing works, but you have to eat garlic for 30 days in a row.  And lots of it.  And keep eating lots of garlic every day until skeeter season is over.

 
paul wheaton
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Is there a mosquito eating bird to encourage?  Something that eats skeeters during the day?
 
Leah Sattler
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arent' skeeters primarily active during the dusk and dawn hours? where do they go during the day?
 
Gwen Lynn
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I have accidentally brushed up against shrubs, potted plants, etc. in my yard during the day, only to roust out the mosquitoes that are roosting there. I've gotten bit in the middle of the day, but it's when I'm under the trees in the coolest, shadiest corner of our yard. There is also a small pond there which helps keep the humidity up and the air temp lower. Well, lower than the sunny parts of the yard.
 
charles c. johnson
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if you have a pond dragon flies eat them. down side dragonfly larvy eat fry (baby fish)
thats why it is one of my favorite bugs check out this vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Q8gUTmyd8
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:
I've read this three times and I can't seem to wrap my head around what this person does.

A little more help?


Ran (according to his writing) splits his time between urban house-sitting, and extremely off-grid homesteading.

He has blogged that the mosquitoes attack him in force at certain times of the year, to the point that immediately after he leaves his vehicle, he beginst to kill and eat them. He catches a mosquito, kills it, consumes it, and repeats...maybe hundreds of times. Like a real-life Batman.

He's the sort of guy to spend an hour or two on this project if necessary. Eventually, he has killed and digested the majority of mosquitoes in the area. As he works on other things, if he hears one, he sets about eating it. After that, he goes back to whatever else he was doing.
 
charles c. johnson
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couldn't you get ill from eating them ?
 
Leah Sattler
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do you think i could get them to land in some ketchup first?
 
Jordan Lowery
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first off we have TONS of mosquitoes here in the spring. they come by the thousands possibly millions. too many streams, creeks, ponds, and puddles around here to try and control them. one of the best things i have used is lemongrass. we grow the plant all summer long, in the fall we harvest the stalks for eating, the leaves get put through a juicer, we get a nice lemongrass green juice from it. freeze it until spring. to this in the spring its thawed and mixed with some sort of oil( atm we have some steeping in olive oil because it was on sale ) just a tiny bit rubbed on your skin will keep them away for hours on end. you can also use lemonbalm if lemongrass wont grow where you are.

on another note, i have an article from a magazine for making your own BT from natural materials if anyone is interested.
 
Jennifer Smith
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soil wrote:
on another note, i have an article from a magazine for making your own BT from natural materials if anyone is interested.

I am
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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charles johnson "carbonout" wrote:couldn't you get ill from eating them?


You mean contagions carried in their guts?

I think the diseases they carry to humans are adapted to direct injection into our bloodstream. The human gut has different conditions than an insect gut.

I might worry a little if I had an open sore in my mouth, or an ulcer in my stomach. Even in that case, I'd be much more concerned about the ones that bit me while I was eating their sisters.

A lot of people would feel a little weird in the stomach from the aesthetics of it all, I'm certain.
 
Fred Morgan
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Leah Sattler wrote:
oh why not! you dont' think you dh would find you attractive if you were doused in garlic juice

my grandma always smeared vanilla all over me and told me kept the skeeters off. I still always ended up with tons of bites.

if I were to experiment I would start with an infusion of black pepper and add some clove oil and a bit of soap to disperse it. maybe a bit of cedar oil too.


Are you sure she didn't mean it keeps the mosquitos off her? We used to call our youngster skeeter bait.
 
Leah Sattler
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Fred Morgan wrote:
Are you sure she didn't mean it keeps the mosquitos off her? We used to call our youngster skeeter bait.


aha! her diabolical plan is now revealed. vanilla probably attracts mosquitos! gee grandma what big teeth you have.......
 
Chuck Freeman
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Our place is heaven for skeeters several years ago I built a couple of dozen swallow nest boxes. Every spring they are filled with paired up swallows. before you couldn't walk in the yard without head nets and bug dope now you hardly hear a skeeter. I also made some bat houses I am totally convinced bats and swallows are the way to go.
 
                    
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swallows!  I haven't seen any here but my partner says they're around.  Add that to the list of critter houses to construct.  Do you have a good plan for a swallow house, Chuck?
 
Chuck Freeman
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These are targeted for Alaska but should work any where. Swallows will find the boxes if you have them out well before mating season. We never saw a swallow before we put ours out they just started showing up one day. I think blue birds and purple martens do a number on bugs to. Make some shelf nest for robins to they eat crawling bugs by the ton.

http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=birds.housedimensions

http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=birds.house

Here re a couple pages on bat houses:

http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/bathousecriteria.pdf

http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/attractingbats.pdf
 
Dave Miller
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Here's a whole forum on bat houses: http://bathouseforum.org/

Here's a thread on that forum where I post info about a couple of my bat houses: http://bathouseforum.org/forum/bat-house-with-slate-exterior-t479.html 
Starting on page 4 you can see photos of bats in the houses.  The first year I had 1 bat, the second year I had 6, we'll see what this year holds.

I'll second Chuck's recommendation for swallows and purple martins.  If you can house swallows, purple martins, and bats, you'll have 24x7 massive bug consumption!
 
Que Lawrence
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What about muscovy ducks?  I have heard they are great at bug control, including mosquitoes. 

I am thinking of getting some of these ducks but I need to research more about how they do in an urban backyard because I don't want them flying in my neighbor's yard.  He likes to kill birds. 
 
Mike Turner
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paul wheaton wrote:
I've heard that the garlic thing works, but you have to eat garlic for 30 days in a row.  And lots of it.  And keep eating lots of garlic every day until skeeter season is over.



I've had good luck with chopping a raw clove of garlic or a couple of wild garlic bulbs (use entire plant) into my salad every couple of days.  Also works for repelling ticks and no-see-ums.  I tested this garlic mosquito repellent against Wisconsin mosquitoes on a trip last summer.  I deliberately didn't eat any garlic for a week or two before making the trip and, once I arrived at the campground, made a stroll through the bushes, and found that Wisconsin mosquitoes were present in numbers and aggressive.  I then sliced some raw garlic into my dinner, went into town for 2 hours, then when I got back to the campground, found the mosquitoes going after everybody but me.  On me, they would land, take off, land, tank off, but never bite, while everybody else was slapping and running for the DEET.  I spent that night in the car with 7 mosquitoes that had slipped in with me and when I smashed them the next morning, none of them smeared blood.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I eat a ton of garlic and mosquitoes love me.  Mmmmm garlic flavored Ludi! 
 
Mike Turner
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I wonder if cooking garlic has any effect on its repellent qualities.  Also its effect could vary with a person's individual body chemistry.  I eat all my garlic raw.
 
Emerson White
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paul wheaton wrote:
I think BT is great stuff.  However, I read something once (from an unreliable source) that said that most forms of BT are GMO's.  I haven't used any BT since.  If I couldn't solve the problem any other way, I would use BT. 

In the case of skeeters:  goldfish are way cheaper.  And I like the idea of ponds having something that I eat that eats the skeeters - rather than BT.


You were misinformed Paul. Bt (big "B" little "t" exists in nature and has for a long time, we haven't got the kind of familiarity with pharmacology and protein analysis to fabricate a toxin like Bt-toxin. The confusion is probably that genes are extracted from naturally occurring Bt and inserted into a number of crops like corn to stop European corn borer.
 
                            
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here is a really good article on permaculture methods for mosquito control!

http://permaculturetokyo.blogspot.com/2009/07/natures-mosquito-control.html
 
Brice Moss
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we've got wild lemon balm all over the yard crushing up a couple leaves and rubbing down exposed skin with them seems to deter the skeeters for a lil while
 
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