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Mosquito Abatement
Old 06-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
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Mosquito Abatement

I have a question to throw out to you all. We are being eaten alive by mosquitoes this year. The addition of a new granddaughter (4 months old) makes this a problem we need to get under control. Our yard is 1+ acres with lots of bushes, trees, flowers, landscaping. We have an in-ground pool but we keep the pump running 24/7 so the water doesn't just sit. We keep an eye out for any standing water in watering cans or what-have-you.

Has anybody used any of the commercial backyard mosquito control services, and if so, do you feel it was worth it?

Thanks
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:40 AM   #2
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I have used such a service in the past. For a smaller more traditional sized suburban backyard. It helped some. But it never completely eliminated mosquitos. It actually was more effective eliminating spiders and wasps from our eaves than the mosquito control.

After 3 years of paying for the service I decided to discontinue. Just felt it was not worth the cost for us since we were not using our pool in the evenings much anyway. And that is when we have our biggest challenge with mosquitos.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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Best defense against mosquitos = Bat House

Install a Bat House
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:31 PM   #4
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Best defense against mosquitos = Bat House

Install a Bat House
Actually, we have a resident bat I had to fish him out of the pool skimmer last year. Fortunately, I got to him in time. After he dried off and rested awhile, he flew away.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:55 PM   #5
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+1 on the bat house. Also consider installing or adding bird feeders. Purple martins are suppose to be the champion mosquito eaters, I think, but many birds will be of assistance here.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:49 PM   #6
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The mosquitos will always win over time but you can make specifc areas mosquito-scarce by running a simple fan over them when you are out there. An oscillating fan at a stiff breeze level seems to have worked us.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
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The mosquitos will always win over time but you can make specifc areas mosquito-scarce by running a simple fan over them when you are out there. An oscillating fan at a stiff breeze level seems to have worked us.
+1. Also get rid of any standing water in gutters, depressions, bird baths etc. Doing the fogging thing kills every living insect, even the beneficial ones, plus I don't think the mist can be good for you or the baby to breathe.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:32 PM   #8
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Here in Georgia, they are bad. Really bad. Our lot is just shy of 3/4 acre (heavily wooded and lots of English ivy) and we were paying an exterminator to come out every 6 weeks to spray. Works really well, but it was about $60 per application. Since I'm a frugal guy, I bought a sprayer and use the same chemical the exterminator uses. It takes about an hour to spray but the cost is about $6 an application. I'm out back on my hammock as I type. No bites today!

The chemical I use is Bifen-IT. It's pet and kid friendly too.

Sent From My Motorola Startac. Please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:50 PM   #9
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Here in Georgia, they are bad. Really bad. Our lot is just shy of 3/4 acre (heavily wooded and lots of English ivy) and we were paying an exterminator to come out every 6 weeks to spray. Works really well, but it was about $60 per application. Since I'm a frugal guy, I bought a sprayer and use the same chemical the exterminator uses. It takes about an hour to spray but the cost is about $6 an application. I'm out back on my hammock as I type. No bites today!

The chemical I use is Bifen-IT. It's pet and kid friendly too.

Sent From My Motorola Startac. Please excuse grammatical errors.
Thanks HeyEng. I will look that up. My DH bought some RAID for flying insects that has the chemical that is supposed to be effective and sprayed that last night and it was a lot better today. But that will get expensive. I really hate killing the beneficial bugs, but we have to do something. This year has been far, far worse than ever - and we've lived here 19 years. I don't know what's different this year that has caused the increase we are seeing (and feeling).
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:15 AM   #10
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Cant help with mosquitos - but I did learn a new trick about keeping flies off of food at a picnic, dinner, etc - Just take a few branches of rosemary and put them on the table, the flies will immediately dissappear. We luckily have alot of rosemary bushes in the hood.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:20 AM   #11
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I recommend the Mosquito dunks which are the Bacillus thurin… that will infect and kill mosquito larva and other insects in water. Break up the dunks and use them in places where dragonfly larva and tadpoles won't be. If you have sprinker system, the valves are often buried in small "pots" that hold standing water, but are almost impossible to find except by mosquitos laying eggs.

It doesn't matter if the dunks dry out, since they are not 100% bacteria.

The spray insecticides will kill all insects. I attribute them to the loss of fireflies in the summer.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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As Rich said, the mosquitoes will find a way around any abatement. Other than building a gazebo, your best bet is to use a combination of strategies, which may include mosquito traps, chemicals and biological deterrents. Getting rid of standing water is key, though you have no control over property that is not yours.

I sympathize. I used to live in an area where mosquitoes ruined many a summer and where the city entomologist was a celebrity. My ultimate solution was to move.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:10 PM   #13
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As Rich said, the mosquitoes will find a way around any abatement. ...
Agreed. The fan sounds like it might be a tool, along with other tactics.

I would imagine that if birds and bats got almost all the mosquitoes, the birds and bats would move to better places. They gotta eat, they aren't ridding the place of mosquitoes for our benefit (hey, the Adam Smith ' butcher, brewer, baker', quote even applies to birds and bats! And maintains the same alliteration!).

-ERD50
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:45 PM   #14
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A timely article:
Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People and Not Others -- And the Surprising, Natural Way to Avoid Bites | Alternet
(on 4 pages)...

Deet... most effective... depends upon trust, eh? Eucalyptus, and a fan or two, since mosquitoes are poor flyers. Citronella candle in a tent/canopy.
Since mosquitoes can have a range of a mile, area spraying, as in a yard or limited space... not too effective unless the air is very still.

You won't remember this, but back in the 1940's we used a Flit sprayer, which was pretty effective. Dad used to pump spray us kids... Flit main effective ingredient was DDT...

... and about Deet:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002763.htm

from the National Institute for Health. No mention of Deet as a carcinogen.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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You won't remember this, but back in the 1940's we used a Flit sprayer, which was pretty effective. Dad used to pump spray us kids... Flit main effective ingredient was DDT...
Still popular in the 50s in my area. I still remember the commercials: "Quick, Henry, the Flit!"
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:25 PM   #16
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Here in Georgia, they are bad. Really bad. Our lot is just shy of 3/4 acre (heavily wooded and lots of English ivy) and we were paying an exterminator to come out every 6 weeks to spray. Works really well, but it was about $60 per application. Since I'm a frugal guy, I bought a sprayer and use the same chemical the exterminator uses. It takes about an hour to spray but the cost is about $6 an application. I'm out back on my hammock as I type. No bites today!

The chemical I use is Bifen-IT. It's pet and kid friendly too.

Sent From My Motorola Startac. Please excuse grammatical errors.
+1

Bifen is great! One large bottle is $100 or so but last a long time, depending on the treatment area. Lasts about 1 month. Works great. . .we used to have lots of mosquitos, now NONE.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:07 PM   #17
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I recommend the Mosquito dunks which are the Bacillus thurin… that will infect and kill mosquito larva and other insects in water. Break up the dunks and use them in places where dragonfly larva and tadpoles won't be. If you have sprinker system, the valves are often buried in small "pots" that hold standing water, but are almost impossible to find except by mosquitos laying eggs.

It doesn't matter if the dunks dry out, since they are not 100% bacteria.

I think we definitely need to get some of these and throw them up in the gutters. We have been getting frequent rains here lately and this may be contributing to the problem.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:53 PM   #18
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Bluebird houses. We are luckily in the Eastern Bluebird's summer breeding territory, and they are to us far more aesthetically welcome than bats. They do an amazing job at decreasing the mosquito population. We live at the confluence of a creek and river, have had substantially more than normal rainfall this year, and still have minimal issues with mosquitos. And that is from one house that bluebirds have returned to each year. More houses have been put up, but seem to be taken over by swallows most years, although they are good bug-catchers too.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #19
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Bluebird houses. We are luckily in the Eastern Bluebird's summer breeding territory, and they are to us far more aesthetically welcome than bats. They do an amazing job at decreasing the mosquito population. We live at the confluence of a creek and river, have had substantially more than normal rainfall this year, and still have minimal issues with mosquitos. And that is from one house that bluebirds have returned to each year. More houses have been put up, but seem to be taken over by swallows most years, although they are good bug-catchers too.
I have tried attracting bluebirds in the past with zero luck. At best, sparrows would move in, but usually just spiders. I would LOVE to have bluebirds.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:59 PM   #20
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Nothing can kill as many mosquitoes as a bug zapper. It kills a lot of other things too, and I just as soon have them killed too, as I do not want any bugs around the deck.

I have a resident bat, but he can only eat so many bugs. Spraying works too, we have the city Mosquito control that does wonders. But the bug zapper gives you a nice warm feeling as you hear every zap.
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