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Misquitos!!!!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by hisgal2 on February 03, 2004 01:39 AM
We have these horrible misquitos as soon as the sun starts to set!!! I'm soo alergic to them, I get massive welts whenever they bite me. My mom said that building a purple martin house or two around our property might bring in some of those wonderful birds to eat the pests. Is there anything else that I can do? We don't have any sitting water around our house, just a wooded area about 20 yards from the backyard. I want to put in a pond in the next year or so, but with these misquitos, I'm afraid to!
by rue anemone on February 03, 2004 01:51 AM
Wrens like mosquitoes. You can put a few of their type houses out. I know Lowes has wren houses.

I want toads and frogs at my place to help with the skeeters but I haven`t had luck in that area yet.

We have skeeters from our woods too. We built a screened in porch this last fall so I might be in there next summer.

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by hisgal2 on February 03, 2004 03:16 AM
We havea small deck outside of our kitchen. We are thinking of extending it by 8' on one side and then 8'or 10' along then entire width of it. We are thinking of screening in the existing porch then, because it has a sloped roof.

If I put a pond in, do you think that frogs and toads would be happy there? I never really looked into it. [thinker]

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by rue anemone on February 04, 2004 04:49 AM
Everyone I have talked to says that if you build a pond they will come.

I have had a small pond for about 5-6 years now and no toads or frogs. There are pond comets and a koi in there and they will eat the frogs eggs.

I have dug a much bigger pond that I hope will be a wildlife pond with only natives.

Your deck and screened in area sounds like it would be nice.

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by hisgal2 on February 04, 2004 05:18 AM
I would love to say that the deck will be built onto this summer, but I doubt it. [tears] I believe that my vegetable garden is going to take all of our extra resources this summer...not to mention time. I am going to try my hardest to make time to dig a pond. I am also wondering if our outside cat would eat any wildlife that would come to the pond?

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by papito on February 04, 2004 04:38 PM
Try growing Citronella Geranium (Mosquito Plant)

For plant info see:

http://www.organic-growers.com/bfarm/Plants/citronella_geranium.htm

We keep ours in 5-gal containers and move them around as needed.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by hisgal2 on February 04, 2004 05:27 PM
thanks papito!!

I will look into that plant. Perhaps the nursery down the road has some. What do you do with them once fall and winter comes? Can they be brought in???

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by plants 'n pots on February 04, 2004 05:47 PM
I dunno, Papito... I grew 3 large hanging baskets of that geranium a few summers ago, and the only time we could smell it at all was if someone rubbed a few leaves. It did little to nothing to help with the mosquito problem here - especially those little @#$% that like to bite under the table while we are having dinner at dusk! Even burning citronella candles under the table doesn't seem to help - I have taken to putting those citronella wrist thingies around my ankles while we are out there! What's even more frustrating is watching all the bats fly around the yard at dusk... they don't seem to be helping with the mosquito problem, or if they are, we must have even more bugs around than we thought! [Razz]

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by weezie13 on February 04, 2004 05:57 PM
Some scents that you are wearing seem to
attract them too!!
I stopped using Dove soap!!
And I get 1 bite compared to the 7,00488
that I used to get..

stay away from hair spray, perfumes,
and don't shower!!
(hahaha, nice smelling attracts them!!)
Gives you a good reason to work up a good sweat, keeps the bugs away and more work done!

Some say they are attracted to colors....

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by papito on February 04, 2004 06:06 PM
I tried to do Forum search for mosquitoes, but came up with nothing.

My brain is on vacation again...(read: can't remember a darn thing). But before the computer crashed (two crashes in fact), there was a lot of discussions on effective mosquito repellant...One of the members suggested putting drops of dishwash detergent(forgot the brand, was it Joy?) in a white dining plate full of water.

Does any one remember the detail?

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by weezie13 on February 04, 2004 06:08 PM
Yep,
I got it in an email again!!!!
Let me go find it!!!

I'll repost it in a bit!!

Weezie

Hi Papito!!!
Those girls have been wondering where your envelope went!!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on February 04, 2004 06:11 PM
Pass this on to anyone who likes sitting out in the evening or when they're having a cook out.

So you don't like those pesky mosquitoes, especially now that they have the potential to carry the West Nile Virus?
quote:
Here's a tip that was given at a recent gardening forum.

Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent.
Set the dish on your porch, patio, or other outdoor area. Not sure what attracts them,
the lemon smell, the white plate color,
or what, but mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Joy/water mixture, and usually within about 10 feet of the plate.

Check this out---it works just super! May seem trivial, but it may help control mosquitoes around your home, especially in the South and elsewhere where the West Nile virus is
reaching epidemic proportions in mosquitoes, birds, and humans.

Here's the link to the part we were talking
about here at the Garden Helpers Forum!
Mosquitoes Repellant

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by mich168 on February 04, 2004 08:28 PM
This is from an article published last year.

Have you ever suspected that you're particularly attractive to mosquitoes? Do you seem to get eaten alive when others are left alone? You're probably not just imagining it.
Everyone's body chemistry is a little different, and some people are more likely to attract unwanted arthropod advances than others are.
Mosquitoes can sense your presence from far away. When you breathe out, you emit a plume of carbon dioxide that carries on the breeze, and CO2 also seeps from your skin.
"Mosquitoes downwind will pick up the carbon dioxide," says Renee Anderson, PhD, a medical entomologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. They follow the trail, flying in a zigzag pattern, until they find the source.
Closer in, mosquitoes are attracted to the warmth and humidity you're giving off, and they are also attracted to certain chemicals in your sweat. Having found a group of sweaty mammals sipping cold drinks on a porch in the summer heat, one may stand out among the others.
"It all depends on that particular person, their combination of all these different cues," Anderson tells WebMD. "Movement of the host tends to be also important. So if you happen to be moving, that is also another way that mosquitoes zero in."

In general, mosquito repellent works by masking the chemical cues that welcome mosquitoes to dine.
DEET: Potent, But Safe
The most effective mosquito repellent is one of the oldest around. DEET (short for N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) was first developed for use by the U.S. Army in 1946, and it became available to the public in 1957. Many other products have hit the market since then, but none quite compare to DEET. In fact, it's the only mosquito repellent the CDC recommends for preventing mosquito-borne diseases.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, researchers compared several types of mosquito repellents head-to-head in laboratory tests. Fifteen brave study volunteers took turns sticking an arm treated with mosquito repellent into a cage full of hungry bloodsuckers. The researchers took note of how long it took a mosquito to bite.
OFF! Deep Woods" repellent, a product containing about 24% DEET, fared the best. Its protection lasted an average of five hours
The least effective products were wristbands treated with DEET or citronella, which offered almost no protection. According to the researchers, this wasn't a surprise. It's known that mosquito repellent only works on the surface to which it's applied directly. Mosquitoes are happy to bite skin only four centimeters away from the repellent slick.
DEET has an excellent safety record, despite some people's concerns. N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide doesn't sound like something you'd want to spray on your skin, and perhaps its acronym reminds people of the dangerous and now banned insecticide DDT. They're nothing alike, however.
The Environmental Protection Agency must approve all pesticides used in the U.S., and although DEET isn't a pesticide by definition -- it does not kill insects -- it falls under the EPA's regulatory purview.
In 1998, the agency re-evaluated DEET, and found that it is very safe when used according to label directions, and it's not classified as a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). The label directions on DEET products will say you should apply it only once a day to exposed skin and outerwear -- not under clothing. Under clothes, it can absorb into the skin more readily, and possibly cause irritation. DEET can also irritate the eyes.
"The most common complaint is when DEET gets in the eyes, and obviously, that's something to be avoided," says Ed Tate, a spokesman for the Consumer Specialty Products Association, an industry group that funds the DEET Education Program.
Young children shouldn't be allowed to apply DEET repellent themselves, but it is safe for them to use. This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement saying that DEET is safe for children aged two months and older. Previously, the age limit was set at two years. The academy also raised the maximum DEET concentration in mosquito repellent for kids from 10% to 30%.
Tate says the changes were welcome, and overdue. "We always were a little vexed by the 10% restriction because we saw no basis in the science on DEET," he tells WebMD.
Bite-Blocking Botanicals
Nevertheless, some still wish for an alternative mosquito repellent. At least since the 1970s, many have sworn by Avon's Skin-So-Soft bath oil as an alternative.
"They believe there's some magic in the bath oil," says Andrew Pechko, a research and development manager at Avon. With apologies to the legions of devotees, there isn't.
The NEJM study shows that Skin-So-Soft worked as a mosquito repellent for an average of roughly 10 minutes, which hardly matched DEET products, or even soybean oil. In the study, a 2% soybean oil product called Bite Blocker for Kids protected against bites for an average of 94 minutes.
Avon does not market the original Skin-So-Soft oil as a mosquito repellent, but the company has come out with a formula containing IR3535, a new EPA-approved mosquito repellent.
IR3535 belongs to drug maker Merck, and it has been used as a mosquito repellent in Europe for 20 years. Avon's products are the only ones with IR3535 available in the U.S.
In the NEJM study, Bug Guard Plus protected against mosquito bites for only about 23 minutes, on average. But Avon claims that their new "eXpedition" formula lasted as long as eight hours in outdoor tests.
"The EPA, as a matter of fact, does not recognize a mosquito cage test to establish product labeling claims," Pechko tells WebMD. "The EPA requires outdoor field studies."
Other Strategies
Besides all the sprays and lotions that contain mosquito repellent, there are many things that supposedly drive away mosquitoes in the surrounding area.

Citronella candles have been used since 1882 as a means of drawing mosquitoes away from people, but one study shows that they're not much more effective than plain candles, which also give off heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture.

You may have seen ads for ultrasonic mosquito repellent devices, which supposedly emit sounds that irritate or scare away the bugs. Organizations from the Federal Trade Commission to the American College of Physicians (in a review in Annals of Internal Medicine) cite numerous studies showing that these devices don't work.
Anderson says that people often ask her about two newer devices called Mosquito Deleto, made by the Coleman company, and Mosquito Magnet, made by American Biophysics Corp.
These things are portable traps that emit carbon dioxide and a chemical called octenol. They're supposed to lure mosquitoes away from people and into the trap.
"They do collect lots and lots of mosquitoes," Anderson says. But it's not yet known whether they really reduce the number of bites for people nearby.
"Right now the jury is still out," Anderson says.
As for the traditional electric bug zappers, don't use them. The violet light may be irresistible to some flying insects, but mosquitoes largely ignore it. "It's a lot of beneficial insects that are getting fried," Anderson says.
The best way to keep swarms of mosquitoes from descending on your backyard barbecue is to get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Some mosquito species lay eggs directly in stagnant water. Others lay eggs in containers -- a tree hollow, a birdbath, a kiddie pool, etc. -- above the water line. Then, when it rains, the eggs are submerged and they hatch.
"You need to scrub out those containers," Anderson says. "Simply dumping the water out isn't going to dislodge those eggs that are attached along the side."

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by catlover on February 05, 2004 08:24 AM
BATS , BATS , BATS .....Heard they eat thousands of them each evening! There are also mosquito fish you could put in your pond!!!!

The neighbors here are real bad about keeping their pond clean so I have tossed those little circular disks with a hole in the middle over the fence and into the pond!!! [Roll Eyes] Shhhhh don't tell anybody!!! [Big Grin] It doesn't do any harm to the fish or birds but the mosquito larvae feed on it and DIE!!!! Sure cured my problem.

I would LOVE to have bats around here.....my daughter is like you and welts so easily....without even scratching them.

Did I mention BATS [Big Grin]

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by shamarian on February 20, 2004 10:17 PM
I cant remember which of my catalogs I saw them in,but I'm going to buy one of those beehiver looking jackets to work in my garden when they get bad.Probably not the thing to use during a backyard picnic but most of my time is spent working in the garden and I look so lovely anyway, covered in dirt and sweaty I figure I might as well go for the total freak look.And it is serious, a friend of ours got that mosquito sickness[can't remember what its called] and its nothing to be taken lightly.

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I am old, and repotting wont help!
by Phil and Laura on February 21, 2004 12:59 AM
Those darn "SKEETERS" [Mad] , You know, all kiddin aside, they are not that bad in Shamarion and our area(think I am nuts [nutz] huh, shamarion) The thing about them is they are so darn little! Heck Ya look down and you have a half a dozen of them lil varmits suckin' on Ya, Up North(Brainerd, Duluth,etc), they are MUCH worse. In Missouri where I came from, you can feel them land on you!! the rascals are so big..THEY HAVE NUMBERS ON THIER WINGS!!! [Big Grin]
by shamarian on February 21, 2004 01:47 AM
Um......I think they like me more then, so sweet as I am.And it does depend on the time of day your out fighting them. Unfortunatly my gardening and their feeding time just about matches up.Its so sad that they have to ruin our outside time.Last year we traveled to Virginia to get our son and it was so wonderful,I dont think I saw a single mosquito and we took long walks out in the countryside in the evenings,I had to pinch myself.But I still walked with my arms swinging all around my head, lol, hard habit to break.

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I am old, and repotting wont help!
by hisgal2 on February 24, 2004 03:20 AM
Hmmm...you weren't near the 2 islands then. Those are like breeding grounds for the buggers! And in Alaska, the things are like freakin' birds!!! Ugh

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by plants 'n pots on February 24, 2004 05:31 AM
In Alaska they call them the state bird!
I still have a tee-shirt from there with an enormous mosquito on it - ewwwwwwwwwwww!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by hisgal2 on February 25, 2004 05:01 PM
haha...i remember seeing that. While we were up there, we went to a place called Lake Louise. We went for a "walk" around the lake and didn't get far before I started to get attacked. We RAN back to the bed and breakfast we were staying at!! Haha. I had massive welts on my forehead for a couple days after that. Stephen, of course, didn't get bit at all.

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by gardenzgal on February 27, 2004 01:04 AM
For controlling mosquito and mosquito larvae in ponds, birdbaths, rainbarrels, etc. I've used mosquito dunks (some call them "donuts"). They consist of a bacteria (Bacillus Thuringensis israliensis or BTi) which prevents the mosquito's from depositing their eggs. It can also be purchased in granular form for larger ponds/lakes. Any good garden center carries the dunks. I put 1/2 donut in my 77gal rainbarrel, and it lasts for up to 3 months.
http://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/bti.html
http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/SPEC/pick-mosquitodunk1.htm

For protecting myself from skeeters, I rub on some crushed catnip leaves. (Crushing it releases the essential oils). There's been some pretty good studies conducted that are proving it really works.
http://altnature.com/gallery/catnip_mosquito_repllent.htm
The only "warning" is that while the catnip oils repel mosquitos, they...uh...kinda attract bumble bees. For the most part, bumbles won't harm you. If they smell the catnip oil on you, they probably just want to "pollinate" you. [perplexed]

Couple other good herbs to rub on is Lemon Balm or Lemon Verbena.

gardenz
by Phil and Laura on February 27, 2004 01:18 AM
Problem is.....Then you get chased by your CAT [Big Grin] [perplexed] [grin] ..............Phil
by foliagefreak on March 03, 2004 04:50 PM
A few gold fish in your pond will control the mosquitos breeding in your pond. In Florida you can get a fish called a mosquito fish which loves to eat the larva. They drop them from the air over swamps here to control the problem You can get them from the agriculture department here. I don't know about where you live in PA. I got a small tub water garden on my deck and Put some comet goldfish in it. Haven't been bit yet but its early in the season.
by shamarian on March 04, 2004 07:27 AM
You know I love having goldfish in my pond but we have many raccoons where we live and they just rip my pond apart.Last year they ripped up my waterplants trying to get them, makes me so mad.We have our pond mostly for the birds and I know the goldfish eat the larva but I think I'm gonna have to go with those mosquito discs I've been hearing about.This year I also hope to get some big drums to save my rainwater and they say to throw a couple of goldfish in them too to keep the bugs out.Coons wont know their in there ha ha

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I am old, and repotting wont help!
by weezie13 on March 04, 2004 03:21 PM
Shamarian,
I've heard that if you put like a metal wire
fence, just at the top of your pond, across the top, it's suppose to deter the racoons, they don't like things that their paws could get caught on...???

I have been wanting to put goldfish into my rain water collecting tubs, but I"m afraid my kids won't leave them alone???? Or, because I use it alllllllllllllllllllllllllot, that I"LL forget that they are in there and suck them up with my
watering can....

AND let me know if you do those dunks, if they really work, I have haeard alot about them.....
I've heard you can even break them up into tinier pcs, if the water tub is smaller than suggested size for whole dunk!!

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by shamarian on March 04, 2004 04:42 PM
Ya Weezie I've read that too but it sounds like too much work [Razz] We are constantly in that pond moving and adjusting things around and then going around the plants I have in there. We are going to make it bigger this year hopefully we'll come up with something.Problem is I know those coons and every other wild animal [we've trapped 2 woodchucks back there too, they almost wiped out my garden [Frown] ]drinks from it and we like that too,
just cant have it all I guess.Weezie did you make your own rain barrels or buy them with lids and spickets on already?

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I am old, and repotting wont help!

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