Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dealing with Mosquitoes

By Christina VanGinkel

With sprin's arrival, and temperatures warming up fast, time spent in the garden and yard is growing by leaps and bounds. At the same time, the population of mosquitoes is too! If you happen to have a pond in you garden or yard, that can exacerbate the issue. Instead of running for cover, and giving up your time spent outdoors enjoying the fresh air and relaxation of gardening and just the plain old taking pleasure in working out there, you will have to find a way to deal with the annoyance that if left unchecked, can be a real health hazard.

Mosquito Bits

If you have a pond, there are products that are biologically safe that can be added to the water to kill the larvae so the mosquitoes do not even have a chance to grow to the biting stage. Mosquito Bits is marketed as being environmentally sound. It is EPA registered in all 50 states, and is applied by sprinkling on any standing water. Be it a pond, or if you have small to moderate sized puddles in your yard or garden from heavy rains, this can be applied if you are concerned about the breeding population of mosquitoes growing there. Even smaller water gardens can be treated, as it will not harm the plants that you have growing there. It is said to work within twenty-four hours, for an effective treatment to once again make your garden and yard with water features once again a pleasure to be in.

Mosquito Dunks

Mosquito Dunks are used in a similar way to the Mosquito Bits, but they look like a small round donut. You drop them in the water of your ponds or standing water, and for the next thirty days, they will continue to work to kill off mosquito and black fly larvae. There marketing states that it will not affect fish, plants, any wildlife that visits the water, or people. It also states that even if some of the wet areas dry out, it will continue to work, and the effectiveness of the product will not be diminished.

Mosquito Sentinel

For hassle free mosquito protection on dry ground, many people are trying the Mosquito Sentinel. It looks like many of the propane type, mosquito control units, but it does not run on fuel, it ruins on electricity. It comes with a one hundred foot long cord, and is said to provide 360-degree protection for a space up to one half acre. The concept of the design is that through UV light, incandescent light, a heat source, and light frequencies with contrasting color patterns that were designed to attract mosquitoes, it then kills the mosquitoes when they approach. Dead mosquitoes are caught in a collection bag, which you empty as frequently as you would like. They recommend once monthly. The number of adult mosquitoes are said to be reduced by up to 87 percent when this unit is in use.

Other Products and Means

There are also many other products made for use in and around a yard and garden to keep mosquitoes away or to kill them before they develop. With mosquitoes the means by which many diseases travel, including heartworm that can be a serious, even deadly disease to our dogs and cats, and West Nile Virus to humans, finding a product or means to keep them at bay can be a serious and time consuming project. If you have any standing water, that is not an asset to your yard or garden, dump it out, or speed along the means of getting it to dry up naturally. If rains have caused standing water, create small trenches for the water to drain more efficiently. Walk around the space and make sure that no buckets or other containers were left out that water has pooled on, such as sheets of plastic left over from a pond project or from lining your gardens to keep weeds at bay.

With mosquitoes, the cause of the spread of such serious illnesses, taking all precautions available is serious business. Be sure to try to keep the conditions in your yard and garden as unfavorable for the growth and development of them as you can, and for those that make it to adulthood, find a means to keep them away, and to kill those that do make it through any deterrent you choose to use.

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