Not only are mosquitoes one of the peskiest creatures alive, they can also be harmful as they carry potential diseases through the blood they are always borrowing (and without permission I might add)! Stagnant water is their breeding grounds which means that those of us with ponds and water troughs must be proactive. I actually went a bit crazy the first year we farmed here because I was completely unaccustomed to these little monsters. After doing much research, I incorporated anything I could to remove the presence of these bothersome critters! Here are some ways to rid your home and land of these insects.
Their singing and the sting of their bites made night a torment."
The thing which I felt was most beneficial was the use of mosquito dunks and bits. I have a once a month email reminder to apply these to our pond and water troughs because these are their breeding grounds. The troughs I do more often as the water is used more often. What these do is kill the larva of the mosquito using a bacteria called BTI which is only toxic to mosquito larvae. It is therefore safe for any other animal life to drink (also labeled for organic gardening by the usepa though not safe for human consumption). The dunks are more suitable for larger ponds and last for 30 days. Each dunk is effective for 100 square feet of water. Just drop them in! The bits are for smaller areas such as water troughs, puddles or any other small area of stagnant water. (If anyone has heard of any reason why these shouldn't be used, I would love to hear from you.)
Mosquitoes also dislike lavender which makes me love it more! I planted lavender bushes around the entrance of my front and back doors and near our patio area. They are so easy to grow and very low maintenance. They also attract lovely butterflies.
"This will never do," Pa said. "We must have mosquito bar on the windows and door."
"Besides, all the prairie grass is full of mosquitoes too. I'll go to town today and get some mosquito bar."
Ideas for the Home:
In the home, keep fans going all night. The moving air is a deterrent. You can also continue with the lavender theme indoors by burning lavender scented candles.
Mosquito nets (like canopies) can be draped around the bed at night when you are really in dire straits.
Bath and Body:
*We use lavender castile soap and tea tree oil castile soap as a body wash to further discourage their attraction (I don't know how much it helps but when you are desperate you try different things). We also dab a few drops of lavender oil around our temples before bed which aids in sleep and repelling the mosquitoes (though for a short time as the scent does wear off).
Natural Bug Spray Recipe:
You can also make a natural bug spray and or/insect repelling oil with this recipe here.
"There!" he said, "I guess that fixes the mosquitoes."
This battle of the bugs have been around forever, ever since the fall...
|Dr. Livingstone's Mosquito Curtain|
"Camp sweet and clean, but it, too, has mosquitoes, from which a curtain protects me completely—a great luxury, but unknown to the Arabs, to whom I have spoken about it. Abed was overjoyed by one I made for him; others are used to their bites, as was the man who said that he would get used to a nail through the heel of his shoe. "
~ Journal Entry of Dr. David Livingstone, Missionary Doctor in Africa, 1873
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