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Mosquito Hawks

It is a fact that mosquitoes and mosquito hawks (dragonflies) lay eggs in standing water. It is also a fact that mosquitoes and dragonflies lay eggs in open ended rain barrels. My rain barrels are fully enclosed so mosquitoes do not get in the rain barrel to lay eggs. I witnessed how many mosquitoes an open ended rain barrel can hatch when I left one outside a garden center as a display model. It was not attached to a gutter’s downspout tube so there was an opening in the lid. When I went to remove the rain barrel after the season I picked it up and put it in the back of my minivan. I then got in and started driving with my child directly in back of me in his car seat. To make a long story short, a cloud of mosquitoes poured out of the rain barrel and flooded my minivan. I pulled over quick and got my child out of the car. I then opened all the doors and kicked the barrel into the woods to pick up later. I have never seen so many mosquitoes in a small area before, it was very educational. With the threat of west nile virus removing all sources of standing water is a smart idea.

Mosquito Hawk

We offer a fully enclosed rain barrels, all our units are mosquito proof.

For more information on west nile virus you can also visit the CDC > West Nile Virus Information

Mosquito Hawks – Eliminate Mosquitoes in your yard naturally!

“Last season I noticed dragonfly nymphs in the standing water of a deep bird bath in my front yard. Instead of removing the stagnant water as I always do (to deter mosquitoes from laying eggs) I let the dragonfly’s hatch. “Mosquito Hawks” love eating mosquitoes so I decided to test this theory. Yes indeed, I have a healthy population of dragonfly’s patrolling my yard devouring insects and have not seen a single mosquito even at dusk since the last dragonfly hatch”.

Aaron Pratt – Owner & Craftsman

What can you do to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard?

Remove any thick vegetation that holds moisture around the yard.

Make sure your rain barrels are fully enclosed by covering them with outdoor mesh or purchase new ones.

If you have a small goldfish pond make sure you keep the water moving with a pump.

If you have a large pond try stocking it with predaceous minnows that eat mosquitoes and larvae. Another thing I am doing this year is hatching dragon flies (mosquito hawks) that feed on mosquitoes.

Remove old tires and other sources of standing water.

What can you do to encourage your neighbors to reduce areas of standing water?

Hand out information on rain barrels, mosquitoes and standing water.

Make rain barrels that are fully enclosed or replace open ended ones.

Consider hatching dragon flies and other natural ways to reduce the mosquito population.

Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These! by Scottie Johnson

If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of time outdoors. And, for sure, you would rather be tending your plants than swatting mosquitoes.

While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are some plants that will beautify your yard and help repel mosquitoes.

As one more way to keep mosquitoes away from you and your yard, try planting these attractive plants.

HORSEMINT

Horsemint has a scent similar to citronella. Horsemint grows wild in most of the Eastern United States, from Mexico, Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. It is partial to sandy soils and will grow in USDA Zones 5-10. Native Americans used it as a treatment for colds and flu. It has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties because it’s essential oils are high in thymol.

ROSEMARY

This wonderful herb we use for seasoning is also a great, natural mosquito repellant. It has been used for centuries to keep pesky mosquitoes away. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean, so it likes hot, dry weather and well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-10, and must be grown as a pot plant in colder climates. If you happen to live in a part of the country where rosemary does not grow, you can get a good quality rosemary essential oil; mix 4 drops with ¼ cup olive oil. Store in a cool, dry place. When it comes
to fresh plant oils as natural mosquito repellants, there is every reason to have the plant in your yard, if they will grow in your area. It is an inexpensive and attractive way to boost the appearance of the landscape and have natural mosquito repellants on hand as well.

MARIGOLDS

Organic gardeners have used marigolds as companion plants to keep aphids away. Mosquitoes don’t like its scent any better (and some humans feel the same way). Marigolds are sun-loving annuals that come in a variety of shapes and sizes for almost any landscape. They are quite easy to grow from seed.

AGERATUM

This charming little bedding plant contains coumarin, and mosquitoes detest the smell. It is used in the perfume industry and is even in some commercial mosquito repellants. Don’t rub ageratum on your skin, though. It has some other less desirable elements that you don’t want to keep on your skin in quantity. Ageratums are annuals, and the come in a muted blue and white that compliments most other plantings.

MOSQUITO PLANTS

There are two types of plants that are called mosquito plants. One is a member of the geranium family that was genetically engineered to incorporate the properties of citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for mosquitoes. This plant was created to bring the repellant properties of citronella into a hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will thrive. Many have questioned its usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it’s ornamental value.

The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana . Its common names include Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it.

It is a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member of the mint family and its leaves do have a pungent aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial, and is usually hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early fall, so it catches hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink flowers reel in butterflies as well.

CATNIP

One of the most powerful mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. It is a short lived perennial throughout most of the United States. It is easy to grow from seed, and quickly reseeds. Aside from its intoxicating effects on cats, the leaves make a very soothing tea.

With all of these plants, the leaves must be crushed to release the aroma. Otherwise mosquitoes can’t smell them. And, with rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhance the effect.

So, next time you are revising your plantings, consider using some of these attractive plants to do more than just enhance the landscape. You can have pretty ornamentals that also drive mosquitoes away.

About the Author

Scottie Johnson is a life long mosquito warrior and freelance writer dedicated to eliminating mosquitoes from your life. She is also an organic gardener.

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