Bad mosquito problem--have questions : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread


We have a bad bad bad mosquito problem at our homestead, both inside and outside. I don't want to use toxic measures, as we try to keep things around here as nontoxic as possible and have indoor and outdoor animals (cats and dogs).

Outside, one main issue is probably a large pond that is close to the house. (Also we live in northern Mn and at a low, swampy elevation). I am getting a few dozen minnows today to release in the pond to eat the larvae. I also just came across a product in the Pine Tree Seeds catalog called mosquito dunks, which can be put in the water and uses a strain of bacillus thuringiensis to kill the bugs. Any one know whether BT is harmful to the fish or the other nice wildlife this pond attracts?

Inside the house is another issue. It's a log house and we are trying to plub the cracks. I don't think they're coming in through the windows or screens. Does anyone know of stuff that can be done (nontoxic) to repel mosquitoes in the house that is not harmful to humans or pets?

Love this forum. Thanks in advance.


-- Cathy in MN (, June 13, 2001


OOPs......meant to say I am getting GOLDFISH for the pond, not minnows.

-- Cathy in Mn (, June 13, 2001.

The dunks I have seem on the market are safe for fish etc. But it takes alot of them for a pond and they should be staked to bank so they don't all float over to one end almost all larvae are in the warm shallows.

-- Thumper (, June 13, 2001.

Mosquito traps 101: They like to lay their eggs in still dark waterbecause that means no fish or other predators, dark because the larva will eat each other. Accomidate them with shallow cans of food dyed water and have an eye dropper and bottle full of kerosene.At dawn or abouts, put a drop of kerosene on the water, this will make a film on the water that prevents them from getting air. Goodby larva, during the day the kerosene will evaporate off leaving dark still water for mosquitos to lay their eggs within. Try it, yu,ll like it!!

-- mitch hearn (, June 13, 2001.

For inside, get some of those citronella geraniums known as "mosquito plants", if you can still find them at your local greenhouse. They're not worth a hoot (Sorry Hoot!) outside, but when brought into an enclosed area, they keep the mosquitos at bay. We grow ours in medium sized plant pots, have them outside during the day, bring in one or two at night. The skitters are all up against the screens trying to get away from the smell.

Did you see on CBS news where some 14 year old kid used a sonar-like sound device to kill mosquito larvae? He found that certain sound frequencies can kill them, and is working on an invention that you can take to your local small body of water and zap the little suckers to oblivion. Go kid, go!

-- Chelsea (, June 13, 2001.

If you decide to use commercial insecticides in your house, choose one with only pyrethrins for the active ingredients. Pyrethrins are natural insecticides derived from the chrysanthemum flower. They have an extremely low level of toxicity to mammals and birds.

Pyrethrins have quick knockdown power for mosquitoes and flies, and they are the only approved insecticides in most states for restaurants and food plants. They have been used safely for over thirty years. Of course no toxin, even a natural one, is 100% safe, but at some point you may have to weigh the costs and benefits of living with the carriers of West Nile virus against living with a mild natural toxin.

-- Jim (, June 13, 2001.

Cathy,we have been on our farm 10 years and I have never seen skitters so bad!!!Keep the house as tight as possible.Plant lemon balm (citronella )at the doors and windows,(inside too).Do outside stuff when they are not AS active plan your day that way.We have four citronella torches we light to be able to work in the garden.Smudge fires perhaps?A natural bug repellant is 3 parts almond,sesame or olive oil and one part ESSENTIAL OIL OF (one of these) citronell,eucalyptus,peenyroyal,rue,lavender or bergamotSomeone, Vicki I think ...said you can put vinegar in standing water they don't like it.Would'nt the fish eat the larvae????

-- teri (, June 14, 2001.

Thanks so much...I have lots of good info. Yes..the minnows will eat the larvae and hopefully we'll see a dent (?) in the population soon (?). Gonna try some mosquito traps as suggested. Will vegetable oil work as well as kerosone? Also - I want to try the vinegar idea. Am going to look for lemon balm and citronella geraniums. Looking forward to a good night's sleep one of these nights....we have mosquito netting but it always feels a little hot under there and the cats try to get in and wake me up.

Open to more ideas if anyone has any...THANKS!

-- Cathy in MN (, June 14, 2001.

How about attracting lots of bats and birds? Has anyone had success with that?

How about those blue light zappers?

-- Paul Wheaton (, June 14, 2001.

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