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Bug Off: Protecting Your Garden from Mosquitoes

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For those of us who enjoy gardening, mosquitoes are a frequent pest. As they aim to feed on the nectar of flowers, to mosquitoes gardens are like all-you-can-eat buffets: we are open, come on in. This not only hurts your landscaping and ruins your garden, but it can also be detrimental to your health — mosquitoes are well known for spreading disease.

You could ignore these facts, of course, and go on with your gardening and with your life in some kind of West Nile denial. But, when ignoring mosquitoes and the problems they cause proves futile, you may find yourself in need of a solution. Luckily, there are natural ways to get rid of your problem.

Fill your water with fish and frogs. Water, particularly stagnant water, is highly attractive to mosquitoes; it's where most mosquitoes lay their eggs. For this reason, having water in your backyard, such as a stream, fountain or pond, can leave you wasting away in mosquito-ville.

Removing water from your backyard is one solution, but if you can't part with your pond, try adding in frogs, toads, and fish. These creatures feed on mosquitoes and larvae, helping to rid your water, your yard, and your garden, of these pests. Activating the food chain, this way of extermination is completely natural; many aquatic creatures dine by the mantra "mosquito — it's what's for dinner."

On shore, setting up a bird house or a bird feeder may also help control the mosquito population: mosquitoes make great snacks for our fine feathered friends.

Use garlic spray. Just like blood-sucking vampires, blood-sucking insects also hate garlic. Perhaps they don't like the taste, perhaps they don't like the smell, or perhaps they once had a very bad run in with a pasta dish. Whatever the reason, garlic is one way to send mosquitoes on their way.

Planting garlic, or showering your garden with garlic sprays and powders, might not deter every mosquito from entering your yard, but it's sure to discourage some. Just the presence of garlic has the potential to let mosquitoes know your garden is cloved, er, closed.

Plant marigolds. These vividly colored flowers are a beautiful and lively addition to any garden. But, unlike some flowers, they also have bug-fighting characteristics. Marigolds produce an odor that mosquitoes don't like, and aim to avoid.

Marigolds are very easy to grow and can thrive in any environment, with exception of the extreme cold. Yet, they aren't alone in their mosquito fighting mission: catnip, rosemary, and citronella grass are other plants known for telling mosquitoes to bug off.

The above ideas should help you control your garden's mosquito population at least on some level. Wearing repellent, long sleeves, and long pants can also aid your own personal protection. If all else fails, and you find mosquitoes just won't go away, you can find relief by simply taking your hand and relying on your own version of the SWAT team.

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About Marie Jordan

  • Les Slater

    I always liked the idea of using a three dimensional array of michrophones in the volume of space where the mosquitos are unwelcome. Use signal processing computers to locate them in 3D space and then sic a laser on them.