Backyard Mosquito Control - Mosquito Repellent & Other Methods Of Mosquito Control

A Mosquito
(Image credit: noumae)

Painful, itchy mosquito bites don't have to spoil your backyard summer fun, especially in the garden. There are several solutions to mosquito problems that let you enjoy your summer evenings outdoors without exposing you to toxic chemicals. Learn more about controlling mosquitoes in the lawn so you can lessen the annoyance of these pests.

Mosquito Control Information

Begin your program of backyard mosquito control by eliminating all sources of standing water. Anywhere water stands for four days or more is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Therefore, controlling mosquitoes in the lawn can easily be accomplished simply by eliminating unwanted water sources. Breeding areas that you might overlook include the following:

  • Clogged gutters
  • Air conditioner drains
  • Birdbaths
  • Tarps
  • Flower pot saucers
  • Old tires
  • Children's wading pools
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Pet water dishes
  • Watering cans

Methods of Mosquito Control

Despite vigilant control of standing water on your property, you may still have problems with mosquitoes because of nearby breeding grounds that you can't control. Other methods of mosquito control may then be necessary, though not foolproof. For instance, forms of mosquito repellent, including citronella candles and mosquito plants, are somewhat effective but can't be counted on for total control. Some people find the smoke and fragrance from citronella candles unpleasant, and it takes several candles to protect a deck or patio and provide adequate control.

Most plants that are said to repel mosquitoes are ineffective, however, rubbing lemon balm leaves on the skin provides some protection for a short period of time. Mosquito-repellent sprays applied directly to the skin are sometimes the last resort when battling these pesky insects.

Sprays containing the active ingredient DEET are proven effective, but there is some health concern about heavy applications of DEET repellants. Use the spray lightly as needed on exposed parts of the skin.

Avoid ultrasonic mosquito repellent. These products don't work and are a waste of money. Controlling mosquitoes in the lawn also includes draining puddles as they form. When you water the lawn, stop the sprinklers when the water begins to puddle.

You can use Bti, a strain of Bacillus thuringiensis, which targets mosquito larvae to treat the lawn as well.

Mosquito Control for Ponds

So what about backyard mosquito control for water features like fountains and ponds? There are other methods of mosquito control available just for this.

Mosquito discs are doughnut-shaped rings that you can float in a pond, birdbath, or another water feature. They slowly release Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), which is a bacteria that kills mosquito larva but is harmless to humans, pets, and other wildlife. Bti is a different strain of Bt from that used by gardeners to control the larvae of caterpillars and other garden pests, and is effective in controlling mosquito problems.

Making sure your pond has live fish will also help with mosquito control as they will happily feast on any mosquito larva that appear in the water.

Jackie Carroll

Jackie Carroll has written over 500 articles for Gardening Know How on a wide range of topics.