Natural Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes have been a health nuisance for as long as the human race can recall, with even ancient Egyptians recording the disastrous effects of these disease-inducing insects. So for centuries, mankind has worked to develop the most effective mosquito control remedies possible, harnessing the latest and best technology the times would allow.
But as we learned more about the dangerous side-effects of some mosquito control chemicals, we tested out natural and safer methods, some of which may harken back to those sweltering days in Egypt.
Here, in no particular order, are a few natural mosquito control techniques you may want to try:
Elimination of standing water within a living space — Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near pools of shallow stagnant water. By ridding an area of standing water, the overall population of mosquitoes can be substantially reduced without the need for hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
Predatory fish — Small fish that consume mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes is a cheap and highly effective way to bring about the collapse of future mosquito generations. For this reason, predatory fish are popular in regions stricken with high levels of home foreclosures featuring abandoned swimming pools.
Mosquito dunks — Cakes of naturally occurring soil bacterium floated in ponds and water where mosquitoes are likely to breed have been effective at controlling mosquito larva. The bacterium gradually released by these cakes is highly toxic to mosquito larvae, but is completely harmless to surrounding plant and animal life.
Liquid garlic — High in sulphur, garlic repels mosquitoes and other insects whose soft exoskeletons cannot tolerate sulphur. Spraying an outdoor area with liquid garlic can keep mosquitoes away for several days.
Neem oil — Derived from the seeds of one type of evergreen found mainly on the Indian subcontinent, oil of neem is effective at repelling mosquitoes and may safely be applied to human skin in the form of soap, creams, lotions or cosmetics.
Burning herbs – Smoke from burning aromatic herbs such as rosemary, lemon balm and basil will drive mosquitoes away. Simply tossing a handful of fresh herbs on the barbecue grill from time to time is often enough to keep many types of biting insects at bay.
Bat houses — About 70% of all bat species feed on flying insects. Bats are one of nature’s most efficient mosquito control systems. One of the most creative methods of naturally managing a mosquito population requires nothing more than installing a simple outdoor wooden bat house.
Natural Mosquito Traps — Mosquito traps are another way of collapsing a mosquito population by natural means. Scientists studying mosquitoes know that they locate human targets by tracking their trail of exhaled carbon dioxide gas. Commercially available, natural mosquito traps periodically release trace amounts of bottled carbon dioxide gas to lure mosquitoes away from a living space, and toward the trap. The trap features a vacuum that draws the creatures into a chamber that they can never escape. Some do-it-yourself mosquito traps use a mixture of sugar water and yeast in place of synthetic substances to generate the carbon dioxide gas, creating a more natural control method.