Updated: Feb 14, 2022
North Texas is home to more than 50 types of mosquitoes, each with their own color, shape, and personality. Some of these mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile or Zika, while others are innocuous. Some are only active at night, while others only buzz around during the day. Some are brown, others are black. The mosquito that carries the Zika virus is the Aedes species, which has a black and white body with stripes on its legs. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are of the Culex species. Both are common in North Texas, however, not all Aedes or Culex mosquitoes are infected with any disease.
To protect ourselves from their bites and potential illnesses, we need to know how mosquitoes breed. All types of mosquitoes need a source of still water to reproduce. Pools or buckets of water are not the only things that you have to worry about, though. It only takes a fraction of an inch of water to invite mosquitoes around. Electronic zappers, bug sprays and candles are just a few ways that people try to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
Fact: Mosquitoes need to lay their eggs on still water because they can't swim. When the surface tension of the water source is broken, they can fall in and drown.
Marshall Grain wants to help you enjoy the outdoors without having to cover yourself in impenetrable clothing. So here are some suggestions you can implement on your own to help keep mosquitoes from taking over your outdoor plans.
Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks
Did you know only female mosquitoes bite? They need blood meals to lay eggs and those clusters of eggs need water to hatch. If you have areas of collected standing water on your property, it’s an open invitation for a mosquito infestation. Mosquitoes love these wet micro-habitats. Keeping your yard free of standing water is the best way to discourage mosquito activity on your property. They'll seek out small items such as small as a soda can, or toys left out while the sprinklers were on, clogged gutters, rain barrels, and bird baths. Even wet lawns and groundcovers such as Asian Jasmine can harbor mosquito larvae.
Apply Mosquito Bits to all of these areas. Mosquito Bits are corn cob granules coated in Baccillus Thuringiensis, israelensis (BTi) — a very specific bacterium that only affects mosquito larvae and fungal gnats. The Bits don’t last long, but provide a punch, turning water black with larvae, to a clear pool void of future mosquitoes. The larger Mosquito Dunks should be used for ponds, creek beds, alleyways and larger areas where water extends over a large surface area.
The Benefits of Cedar
Looking for an attractive way to naturally repel pests? Cedar is an all natural insect repellent that chases away mosquitoes, termites, fleas, and lots of other pests without harming beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees. It’s safe to use near children and pets and actually provides many benefits. It is a great natural, organic pest control for your yard and your home. Cedar is available in many different forms. Marshall Grain offers it as a mulch, granule, and a liquid yard spray.
Cedar Mulch is pleasant smelling, looks great in your beds and — like other mulches — protects your plants and provides other benefits. Cedar Warrior is a finer form of the wood mulch that has been ground into small flakes, or granules, that can be scattered on top of your lawns or in and around your flower beds to discourages unwelcome insect pests. Cedar Warrior is also available as an oil that can be sprayed on trees and shrubs, as well as your lawn and flower beds.
Having something other cute babies crawling around on the ground, specifically, “things” like ants, cockroaches, centipedes and the critters, can really freak you out. Before you are tempted to move towards extreme (and toxic) measures to get rid of them try EcoSMART products. EcoSmart is actually a line of several different products, all made from organic, natural botanical oils that kill or repel various insects. Each product is formulated for a specific problem, and together they provide you complete outdoor protection.
EcoSmart granules are a non-toxic, all-natural combination of Clove and Thyme oils that kills and repels a wide variety of crawling and flying insects, including mosquitoes. EcoSmart Mosquito Fogger mixes Geraniol, Rosemary and Peppermint. The fogger creates a bubble of protection from mosquitoes and other flying insects for up to eight hours. It’s great for all your outdoor soirees. EcoSMART Lawn Insect Killer uses Eugenol and Thyme to kill and repel crawling insects in outdoor settings such as ants, cockroaches, and fleas. It’s available in either a ready-to-spray or concentrate. EcoSmart also makes a Mosquito and Tick Spray that blends Peppermint, Rosemary, Eugenol and Thyme.
Sound too good to be truly effective? Well, get ready to be blown away because when it comes to getting rid of pesky flying and crawling insects, EcoSMART brings forth a whole new meaning to the phrase “kill ’em with kindness!”
Murphy’s Mosquito Sticks and Candles
When it comes to summer, travel has become a necessity. Camping is the ultimate escape from Texas traffic and city life. Plus, there is nothing more romantic than going off the for an uncomplicated life in the woods. But along with all that fresh air and romantic vibes comes pesky mosquitoes. You could scour the local stores for bug zappers or surf the internet for wacky natural repellents, but we at Marshall Grain found what really works. Murphy’s Mosquito Sticks and Candles use Citronella, Cedar, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Peppermint oils to repel mosquitoes and other insects from outdoor areas. Just light them to activate the aroma. The high concentration of essential oils (10% by weight) far exceeds the content of leading brands on the market, making Murphy's a very effective natural repellent. And the combined fragrance is Amazing!
Usage Tip: place a Murphy's Mosquito Stick close to your location, then to expand your area of coverage, place a few incense sticks in a perimeter around your deck or patio, spacing them 12 feet apart.
Are any of these methods 100 percent effective, of course not, it’s the great outdoors. Nature will never completely be tamed. You can, however, manage small areas. Enjoy the great outdoors, but always remember: When you are outside, you are in their house.