Modern technology now offers choices...
Have you heard about that New York Times reporter (using that term loosely, I assure you) who probably has a bounty on his head, because of all of his nasty comments he recently made about Houston? It's obvious the man has no brain, nor the sense of a reporter, because he still calls Houston a "mosquito-infested swamp."
I strongly disagree with that, because I personally believe mosquitoes aren't near as bad as they have been and could be, and I attribute a lot of that success to all the new techniques in which we can rid ourselves of these nasty blood suckers. (Fill in your own IRS or lawyer joke here…)
It's somewhat true that a decade ago the only ways to control mosquitoes were in neighborhoods that had mosquito fogger trucks and homeowners treating wet areas with insecticides like Malathion. While we can still use Malathion and other insecticides quite successfully in damp/wet areas for control purposes, we've also stepped into a new generation where organic controls are also available. More importantly, we also have fancy hi-tech gizmos that are also environmentally safe, like the Mosquito Magnet, Mosquito Trap and Mosquito Misting Systems available to us. In other words, we've come a long way from citronella candles and fly swatters on the back porch.
I've always said that I'm a firm believer in both organic and inorganic thinking when it comes to gardening/landscaping. And with mosquito control, the same holds true. The old-fashioned Malathion spray still works for me and many other people. However, for those with kids and pets that can't fathom the idea of spraying any chemical, the alternatives abound. Organically, instead of Malathion, they make Mosquito Dunks that are donut-shaped Bt dunks that are placed in standing water or damp areas, and will prevent mosquito eggs from hatching. Bt is an organic bacterium that works on larvae, as well as many caterpillars and worms.
Then there's the Mosquito Magnet is a free-standing unit that runs off a propane tank, which emulates a large cow emitting a plume of carbon dioxide, heat and moisture. That combination is simply irresistible to the mosquitoes. As they head for the plume, thinking dinner awaits, they are then sucked into a waiting net where they die from desiccation (lack of moisture/blood). The companies that make and market the Mosquito Magnet also make a cheaper version that works on electricity instead, called the Mosquito Trap.
Finally, there's the Mosquito Misting Systems, that use the organic Pyrethrum insecticide meted out via misting system on the entire perimeter of your property - most people jut opt for the back yard. While this is the most expensive system available, it's really the most precise. If you know you're going to be outside at a certain time, you set the timer to go off for an hour to two hours before the party, and viola, no mosquitoes or other biting insects during the time you're outdoors, plus the idea of never having to spray insecticides yourself is quite appealing.
What many people have asked me, is which one works best and which one do I prefer? My answer has always been the same: It depends on your acreage and your pocketbook. If cost is no object, then by all means you should have the Misting System installed. If cost is a big hurdle, then keep it simple with dunks, or insecticides or even the citronella
candles. For something in-between, there are the Magnets and Traps etc. Acreage is the most important factor, because Magnets and Traps only work about half an acre, and insecticides/dunks only work the immediate area, whereas a Misting System can be designed for as much or as little acreage as you have.
If you'd like to learn more about any of these mosquito control systems click on the one or ones that interest you most.
Mosquito Misting Systems
Until next week, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
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