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3 Steps to Effective Mosquito Control

Updated: 5 days ago

by Marshall Grain Co.

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There are lots of products out there that claim to control mosquitoes but many of them are not organic and not all of them work. Luckily, we've done your homework for you and chosen the best organic solutions we could find to share with you. First it's important to bear in mind that there are three different levels to treating for mosquitoes, and for the best results, you need to use all three. 1. Your Lawn and Garden

Treat your home exterior spaces to keep mosquitoes from moving in or using your garden as a place to breed. 2. Protect Yourself

When you are outdoors, it's wise to protect yourself with non-toxic skin insect repellent .

3. Protect Your Pets

Don't forget that dogs and cats can get bitten as well.

Obviously the products that are best for your lawn and garden are different from those that you apply to yourself or to your pets.

Mosquito Ready to Bite.
Mosquito Ready to Bite.

Lawn & Garden Basics

So let's go back to no. 1, your lawn and garden.

You may not realize it but there are several different types of mosquitoes common to our area. Some of them can travel several miles in search of a meal while others spend their entire lives in the same backyard. For example, the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is different from the one that carries West Nile. So while some may be just passing through, others are looking for mates and for places to breed.

You want to make sure that you are not only killing the adults but that you are also preventing them from breeding.

How Mosquitoes Breed

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water or moist soil. So make sure you empty out any containers around your yard that might hold water such as buckets, flowerpots, and wheelbarrows.

ladle of water with mosquito larvae
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as 1 teaspoon of water.

Mosquito dunks and bits are eco-safe, non-toxic and very effective. They're made with a very specific strain of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) bacterium that targets only mosquito larvae. BT will not harm birds or fish or other wildlife, but it will kill mosquito larvae before they can pupate into an adult mosquito. If you have a bird bath or pond, keep it treated with Summit Mosquito Dunks.

Mosquitoes can also breed in very moist soil. For example, they love to lay their eggs in dense groundcover such as Asian Jasmine and in areas with poor drainage. For these areas, use Summit Mosquito Bits. The bits are exactly the same as the dunks only in smaller granules that you can spread on top of the ground or put in your planting containers. Sprinkle the bits over your groundcover and any areas that tend to remain moist. Be sure to spread some bits in your rain gutters as well.

Kill and Repel Adults

When it comes to fighting the adults, repellents are crucial. And there are a lot of different repellents that are very effective. For example, Cedar Warrior and sulfur. Cedar Warrior is simply cedar wood that has been ground into fine flakes designed to be applied with a fertilizer spreader. It works continuously for about 60 days, and since it's a wood product, it is 100% organic and biodegradable. It even adds a bit of fresh organic matter to your soil.

Cedar Warrior cedar flakes
Cedar Oil is available as a spreadable granule or sprayable liquid

Sulfur is also effective at repelling many insects besides mosquitoes. It's great for spreading on your lawn and in your beds to chase away crawling insects like chiggers and fleas.The problem with it is that it smells bad, whereas Cedar Warrior has a pleasant aroma.

One customer told us that she kept a sock filled with dusting sulfur on her front porch and each time she went out into her yard, she dusted her ankles with the sulfur to keep the chiggers from biting.

Essential Oils Are Essential Many herbs and essential oils are also great skin insect repellents too -- particularly anything with a lemon scent: lemon eucalyptus, lemon thyme, lemon verbena and citronella are all common in a lot of skin insect repellents. Some other ones are rosemary, clove and lavender.

Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

One secret though, is that the scent has to be relatively strong to work effectively, so for example, if you have a citronella plant in a pot on your patio, each time you go out there, grabe a handful of foliage and crush it in your hand to release the aroma. Likewise, scented candles work, but only if you light them a couple of hours or so before you go out. This is so the candle has time to release enough scent to become effective. Try using a Patio Egg diffuser to continuously release repellent into the air so that you don't have to worry about planning ahead. Another great insect repellent product is Murphy's incense sticks which are scented with lemon eucalyptus. The combination of smoke from the burning incense and the fragrance of the lemon eucalyptus are especially effective. Plus, the incense starts working quickly and burns for a long time.

Trap & Kill

Killing mosquitoes is preferable to repelling them and that's what Spartan Mosquito Traps do. Spartan traps come packages of two traps. They're easy to put out and easy to dispose of when used up.

Spartan Mosquito traps
Spartan mosquito traps lure mosquitoes to their death.

Place your traps as far from each other as possible and away from your patio or other areas where you spend your time. They'll keep working for up to 90 days. They work best if put out early in the season before mosquito populations start to climb. Replace as necessary.

Man spraying himself with DEET
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil has been shown to be just as effective as DEET.

No. 2 Protect Yourself For your own personal protection, use essential oils like those discussed above and apply them to your skin and clothing. Murphy's makes a pleasant-smelling lemon eucalyptus spray that you can apply to your skin and clothing. By the way, the FDA has decided that lemon eucalyptus is just as effective as DEET as a skin insect repellent.

Puppy and kitten - dog - cat
Treat your pets to protect them from heartworm and other diseases.

No. 3 Protect Your Pets Keep in mind that both dogs and cats can get heartworms from mosquito bites so it's really important to protect them even when they're indoors. You can also use essential oils on your pets to help protect them. Spray their fur the same way you would spray your skin.

So remember to use all 3 approaches: treat your lawn and garden, use personal protection on yourself, and keep your pet safe. I've talked about just a few of the organic mosquito control products available at Marshall Grain Co. Come in and see our complete selection and let us help you choose the best products for your needs. For more details on these and other mosquito products we carry, check out product information sheet:

Download PDF • 241KB

View it online: products-for-organic-mosquito-controls

Helpful links:

Copyright: Marshall Grain Co., June 2020

3525 William D. Tate Ave., Grapevine, 76051


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