Ask a Question forum: How to deal with mosquitoes

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Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
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TexasPlumeria87
Jul 17, 2017 10:58 AM CST
Hi I've been having a bad mosquito problem lately, the mild winter we had here didn't help either. They're so bad in my yard, I can't even enjoy my garden anymore because I'm having to run indoors. I used to have them just in my shade garden but now I have them all over. I have lots of plants in my flower beds but I make sure I pour out any standing water or add Bt to my birdbaths. I tried clearing up some vegetation, I got rid of a large brush pile, I've sprayed everything with diluted Eucalyptus oil or garlic spray, I also put down cedar mulch in most of my shade garden but nothing seems to work. I want to avoid chemicals because I have a lot of pollinators visiting my garden and I don't want to kill any beneficial bugs. Does anyone have a solution to my mosquito problem? Thanks
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 17, 2017 11:21 AM CST
I've read that eating vitamin C may help.
Personally, I've found that eating plenty of hot peppers.... Means that the mosquitoes would rather bite visitors or pets than me....
Not sure what native Americans used to eat, but I always heard that they were mostly resistant.... But that may just be an urban legend.

Wax myrtle is supposed to help... So... Plant lots.

At my house.... I have rain Barrels, and all those little wrigglers feed. The fire ants when I use the water for transplants.... I put goldfish in the garden pool... Those hungry little fishies.... Eat the skeeters and tadpoles, and I reckon their own get as well....

Good luck.... With all the scare stories on the tv news about zika and stuff.... Not something we want around...

Of interest... Apparently those tiger mosquitoes can raise their kids in a bottle cap, or a bit of plastic rubbish tossed out by a car going by... And then never ventures far out of range from where they were born.... I heard 100 yards or something?
So.... Maybe check extra hard for litter tossed out by the traffic.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 17, 2017 11:23 AM CST
This may not be much help but it is something that I learned from a local mosquito expert.

When you have a container that fills with water the mosquitoes will lay eggs. The eggs will stick to the side of the container. If you dump out the water...the eggs are still stuck at the water line. Next time the container fills with water, the eggs will hatch. So, the lesson I learned is, first dump out all the water and then clean/wipe/scour...whatever...to remove the eggs and prevent them from hatching at the next rain event.

When I say 'container'...that can mean a flower pot, a garbage can, a trowel or shovel left out in the rain, or can be something as simple as a magnolia leaf sitting on the ground. Any 'container' that can hold water can and will become a breeding site for mosquitoes.

That's all I have for now. Thumbs up
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 17, 2017 11:25 AM CST
I put mosquito fish in every water feature, large and small. Running water will not let them breed. We have a problem in NM during monsoon rain time, so we have just ordered a Dynatrap to see if it really works. I'll let you know! They love me, and I get bites when others don't.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 17, 2017 11:39 AM CST
greene said:
When you have a container that fills with water the mosquitoes will lay eggs. The eggs will stick to the side of the container. If you dump out the water...the eggs are still stuck at the water line.

When I say 'container'...that can be something as simple as a magnolia leaf sitting on the ground.


Those tiger mosquitoes are slick.
I read the same thing back when zika was on the news every day.

Didn't even think about a leaf...
Life will find a way!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 17, 2017 11:49 AM CST
As Greene pointed out, mosquitos don't need a lot of water. Our mosquitos do lay their eggs and then wait for water. They are called tree hole mosquitos.

http://www.solanomosquito.com/...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
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TexasPlumeria87
Jul 17, 2017 12:37 PM CST
Thanks so much everyone for the advice and information. Sadly my neighbors have trash around their yards and I also live near a recycle plant that has lots of empty trash bins and containers. I didn't know that about mosquito eggs sticking to the sides of pots, etc. Last week when I was moving some houseplants around on the front porch, at least 20 mosquitoes flew out of that area. I cleared up a lot of plants on the porch but they're still buzzing around. We're so worried about zika or West Nile virus. So far I haven't seen any leaves that collect water, but I do find cups and debris from the recycling plant next door, and I mainly water once a week.I've also noticed lots mosquitoes flying around some of the container plants I water every other day, but I don't have saucers under them.

I've heard putting a couple of drops of dish washing liquid suffocates the larvae, if I put that in my bird bath would it poison the birds? @plantmanager Please let me know how effective the Dynatrap is. Mosquitoes love me too and my mom as well. They'll bite us before biting anyone else lol.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 17, 2017 3:53 PM CST
This is a question/answer site for Plano. They will spray to control mosquitoes on public property. If the recycle place is county-owned, request that they spray. If it is a privately owned company, ask Plano to come out to do an inspection and they can force the recycle place to comply.
http://www.plano.gov/FAQ.aspx

When I lived in Connecticut I had to go door-to-door to get signatures from every house in the neighborhood. If everyone signed, the city would spray for the salt marsh mosquitoes - I managed to get 99 signatures. Hurray! The one person who would not sign said he was an entomologist and did not like to see insects killed. HIs wife grabbed the clipboard out of my hands and as she signed she said, "The house is in my name and I want them sprayed!" Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 17, 2017 5:57 PM CST
Cameron-- Some people just attract mosquitoes because of their
Blood Type. I am not a big fan of spray, but when my daughter would do mission trips in Central America, it was a heavy duty spray Permethrin. More potent than deep woods off. What was sprayed were the tennis shoes, light weight long sleeve jacket, and jeans. You spray the items outside and there is a dry period. Needless to say you wear the same jeans numerous times because they are treated. But it also lasts for several washings. That way you are not continually spraying yourself. I spray the lawn chairs and around them with deep woods off or cutter. Spray around the outside door. I find all of that that effective. I also am looking at having the brightest lights that are on outside be the furthest away from where humans would be. Hope something may help you!

May you be blessed with success!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 17, 2017 5:59 PM CST
Altheabyanothername said:Cameron-- Some people just attract mosquitoes because of their
Blood Type.

This is true. Someone close to me has O type blood and is a mosquito magnet. Whistling
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 17, 2017 6:40 PM CST
Thumbs up Exactly Greene, I am in the same boat with someone close to me. O is the mosquito favorite with A being the least favorite.

May everyone be blessed with good health and safety!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Jul 17, 2017 7:03 PM CST
Be sure to put the mosquito dunks in all the standing water. You don't have to put a whole dunk everywhere. I forget the area that one covers. I'll throw 'em in my gutters, too. They kill the mosquito larvae but do nothing to the adults. At least that's something.

But yes, this year is especially awful. And while it's nice to be loved, I dislike being loved by skeeters. All it takes is one of those boogers to get inside the house and it will follow me from room to room, tormenting me.

Alternating cedar and garlic (powder or liquid but not salt) sprinkling in the yard helps but only so much.

That reminds me that I need to check my email. I get alerts whenever the city is going to spray and the exact blocks. Then I pass that info along to people in my hood and surrounding hoods. Doubt if they ever include Plano in the alerts.

@joannakat gave me the best advice ever for stopping the itch. Put ice on the bite. ASAP. I have some of those ice packs in my freezer and they are easier to use and can cover more 'territory' since I never get just one bite.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Jul 17, 2017 7:44 PM CST
I had never heard about the blood types before. I am O+ and used to get bad mosquito/deer fly reactions. I guess there's a plus to smoking after all these years, because they ignore me now. Of course I haven't been in the deep woods for along time either. Big Grin
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
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TexasPlumeria87
Jul 17, 2017 7:48 PM CST
Sorry for the late response everyone. The stupid mosquitoes greeted me when I got home. Grumbling

@greene I'll look into the recycling plant though the city probably wouldn't do anything because they've let them do pretty much anything. You should see the trash the collects in all of the trees around here and every day I'm picking up trash that blows in from their dumpsters. They had a huge fire last December I think that destroyed the main building. They also make lots of noise at 3 and 4 o' clock in the morning. Thumbs down

I have AB blood type so I wonder if that's just as attractive to mosquitoes as Type O?
@Altheabyanothername That's a great idea spraying Off Deep Woods on chairs and around the door, I never thought of that. I have a couple of cans of Off Deep Woods that I could use. Thumbs up

@tx_flower_child I've been putting some BT in standing water like in my bird baths and a couple of saucers under my plants, and I'm hoping that at least controls the larvae? I've had mosquitoes buzz in my ear when I go to bed, it's so annoying because I turn on the light and it's gone lol. I'll probably get some more garlic powder and sprinkle it in my shade garden. A few years ago the city of Plano sprayed near my area because a mosquito there tested positive for West Nile. That was the only time they've sprayed in my area. Thanks for that tip on putting ice on the bumps. I usually put rubbing alcohol on but that doesn't stop the itching sometimes.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Jul 17, 2017 8:17 PM CST
Not that this is a solution to your problem, but I find that when I take strong concentrations of vitamin C, the mosquitos just don't bite me. I take 2000 mg a day, 1000 in the morning, and 1000 at night. Since vitamin C is water soluble, it shouldn't be a problem but do be careful and be sure you're okay with taking these amounts before trying.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 17, 2017 8:38 PM CST
Mosquitoes hate me. I'm a vegetarian with type A blood. DH (type B blood) has always maintained that mosquitoes want more meat in their diets - he is a mosquito magnet who loves a good steak (and a slice of watermelon but that has nothing to do with this Smiling ).

But I have done some reading (because that's what I do). What I learned is the best way not to be bitten by mosquitoes is to hang out with people that mosquitoes like more. Smiling I have that covered.

Also, mosquitoes like type O blood but dislike type A. That one too.

People with high normal body temps are more deluctable then people with lower. My normal temp is 96.8 (instead of 98.6). HD's is higher than normal. He's like sitting next to a heater. Or it could be his is normal and mine is just that low.

Mosquitoes love beer - I hate beer. HD doesn't drink beer either. I guess he had to have something going in his favor. (besides me, that is) Whistling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Jul 17, 2017 9:21 PM CST
DaisyI said:Mosquitoes hate me. I'm a vegetarian with type A blood. DH (type B blood) has always maintained that mosquitoes want more meat in their diets - he is a mosquito magnet who loves a good steak (and a slice of watermelon but that has nothing to do with this Smiling ).

But I have done some reading (because that's what I do). What I learned is the best way not to be bitten by mosquitoes is to hang out with people that mosquitoes like more. Smiling I have that covered.

Also, mosquitoes like type O blood but dislike type A. That one too.

People with high normal body temps are more deluctable then people with lower. My normal temp is 96.8 (instead of 98.6). HD's is higher than normal. He's like sitting next to a heater. Or it could be his is normal and mine is just that low.

Mosquitoes love beer - I hate beer. HD doesn't drink beer either. I guess he had to have something going in his favor. (besides me, that is) Whistling


Hmmm, I'm not so sure about this. I'm B positive (and I will always be positive! nodding ) and my temp. is 98.5 almost all the time. I love a good steak too and am the farthest thing from being vegetarian there could ever be. As I posted, I don't get bitten when I take vitamin C, but I don't know that this would work for everyone.

This is the stuff I use: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WKW6QO/
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 17, 2017 10:02 PM CST
Hmmm.. never heard that about the blood type thing. I'm O positive and while I was once (before moving to the UP) pretty much a mosquito magnet, after being stung a million or gazillion times, I now have no reaction to mosquito bites (although they are still annoying).

Long pants, long sleeves, and a bug headnet can make life much more bearable if mosquitoes are an issue.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 17, 2017 10:37 PM CST
There was also something about skin bacteria. Mosquitoes like a good variety of skin bacteria. Maybe all that Vitamin C is killing yours off?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 18, 2017 4:26 AM CST
I have 6 mosquito traps around my yard. A small 5' pond, four 6" pots with plastic bags to hold water and a 2' plastic tub for toad and frog tadpoles. All are kept baited with bT. I do have to feed the tadpoles fish crushed fish flakes though.

I also keep a pot on the deck with nothing, to keep track of the mosquitos. When I see one wriggler, I just dump the water, but it lets me know if some are still around to breed.

I got one mosquito bite and was surprised yesterday, but I was near a neighbor's yard and they have stuff laying around that can hold water. You can't stop the neighbors from being careless.

I think my plan is generally successful.

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