The little vampires are a problem just about everywhere but Alaska. The shelves are stocked with every form of repellant and trap that is possible to patent. Many of the methods don’t kill them so much as simply throw off their ability to find you. This means if you have swarms in your yard, that citronella candle will keep them from running strait to you, but it doesn’t really mean much since they tend to move around. Law of averages says that as they move about (and as you do) they will run across you anyway.
So what are some other means of fighting back the blood-thirsty hordes of flying syringes? First is simply to encourage their natural predators. If there is movement in the water where they are breeding, Mosquitofish and guppies are both viable options, eating a large number of the larva. Guppies are slightly less adaptable than the Mosquitofish. Likely you will have to stock the water with them yourself.
Other predators include bats and a number of small birds, so bathouses and birdhouses will encourage these predators to come in droves and consume huge numbers of the pesky mosquitoes. The serious advantage here is that there need not be any real water source on the property for them to be present and effective.
Again, if there is water on or near the property, owning waterfowl may be a good choice. They will consume the larva as part of their regular diet. Dragonflies, while not generally something you can purchase, can be encouraged. Adding bulrushes, cattails will go a long way to attracting dragonflies. Dragonflies are huge predators of both the larvae and the adult forms of mosquito, so they are especially attractive in dealing with the problem.
So let’s assume you don’t have any water on your property that can be used for the above. Maybe some standing or brackish water that is the source of the mosquitoes, but nothing you can do anything for outside of some bat and bird housing. Well then the methods to follow will help you control the problem fairly effectively. This is especially good in conjunction, assuming you have the space.
First you determine the area where you are most active. This is going to be the area you are trying to repel them from. Next, figure out the areas where you are least active and where they are likely to be repelled to in concentration. This is the spot where you are going to try trapping them. Once you have this mapped, start by building the traps.
The Mosquito Trap
Recognizing that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and things that are black, this trap is designed to simulate a reasonable target for them and prevent their escape. Start with a 2-liter plastic soda bottle. Cut the upper portion off and flip it over so that it forms a funnel into the bottom portion. A clean and even cut is best, as it will make construction easier. Use tape, hot glue or some other method to seal the funnel portion to the bottle. Paint or wrap the sides of the trap black.
Once the trap has been built, combine 1 Cup of water with 1/4 Cup of brown sugar over medium heat until fully dissolved. Allow the solution to cool. Pour 1/2 tsp of yeast, slightly mounded, into the trap. Pour in the solution next so that it covers the yeast entirely. Do not worry about mixing or having the solution be warm. This is a slow process rather than an attempt at quick production as with baking.
Now just place the trap or traps in the spots you already picked out and leave. Every two weeks or so, you will need to replace them. Remember not to put them in high traffic areas, as they will be attracting the mosquitoes to those locations.
The Mosquito Repellant
So now that we are drawing them into traps away from the high traffic area(s), we need a way to help convince them to avoid those areas we are going to be in. Gather up one or two limes and a large number of whole cloves. Cut each of the limes in half and press a good number of the whole cloves into each half. Once this is complete, place the halves in strategic locations around the area you want free of mosquitoes. The time these are effective is variable depending on the growth and freshness of the ingredients, so when you notice them losing effect, change them out for new ones.
By combining methods, you can seriously reduce the nuisance of mosquitoes in your yard without resorting to expensive products or chemical dangers. Often there are perfectly healthy solutions to a problem that you may never have heard about simply because it wasn’t marketable or profitable enough. I will probably look to offer up other solutions to common problems that are cheap and effective as well as safe for your family and the world around you.