is iffy when it comes to mosquitoes. The month can be
good or it can be bad, depending on weather patterns.
speaking, July and August tend to be somewhat drier
months in most states nationwide, which helps keep
mosquito numbers down, according to experts.
September and early October, rainfall makes the
the season starts changing, we tend to get more
rain," says Leah Aguilar, operations superintendent
with mosquito control in coastal York County, Va.
combined with still-warm temperatures can produce large
amounts of mosquitoes. Of course, the flip side of that
is true too; if in September we are dry, then mosquito
numbers will stay low."
coastal areas are home to a dozen or more different
types of these pesky biters. Worldwide, there are 3,000
different species of mosquitoes with 176 recognized in
the United States, according to the American Mosquito
the Asian tiger, or Aedes albopictus, is the real
concern, according to Aguilar.
mosquito breeds in containers of still water and is a
daytime biter," she says.
makes it especially hard to control because we spray no
adulticides during daylight hours; this mosquito is best
controlled in the larval stage. This is where education
is critical; we are trying to focus on educating the
public about eliminating standing water in their yards
York County promotes mosquito-repellent gardening,
targeting small areas such as patios, and encouraging
people to add plants that are shown to repel mosquitoes,
according to Aguilar.
plant cited at
is horsemint, a perennial that gives off a strong
incense-like odor that confuses mosquitoes by masking
the smell of its typical hosts. Its flowers also benefit
bees and butterflies. Other plants that deter mosquitoes
include lavender, basil, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass,
mums, ageratum, catnip, pennyroyal, marigolds, garlic,
citronella, feverfew and pineapple weed.
winter county mosquito-control people will make some
sample mosquito repellents from the suggested plant,
hoping to teach interested residents how to do the same.
we are studying Native American ethnobotany to see how
plants were used historically and how we may be able to
incorporate that into our efforts today," she says.
we are participating in a study right now that is
testing garlic bait for mosquito abatement. Treatments
like this are currently being used overseas but not
really in this country."
how to enjoy a mosquito-free good life outdoors,
according to York County experts:
that drainage ways and ditches in and around your yard
are clear of obstructions and draining. Grass in ditches
should be regularly mowed and maintained. Do not kill
all vegetation in ditches with herbicide; this will only
create erosion and more problems for mosquitoes and your
not dump grass clippings or yard debris in and around
your yard or in drainage areas. Piles of grass clippings
are favorite hiding places for mosquitoes.
all standing water sources around your home:
over buckets, wheelbarrows, toys, etc. to prevent
bird bath and non-filtered pool water weekly or treat
with biological control, such as Bti larvacide.
gutters regularly; obstructed gutters are a prime
out any tarps weekly.
any old tires and dispose of them properly.
and treat rain barrels with biological control such as
mosquito larvae eating fish (Gambusia holbrooki) to
ornamental ponds or depressions with permanent standing
If you have tubing connected to your rain gutter down
spouts, ensure that the tubing is facing down so that
water can flow out of it. These tubes, especially black
ones, hold small amounts of water and are especially
attractive to mosquitoes.
of all old tires in and around your yard or drill holes
in them to make sure they do not hold water.
Incorporate mosquito repellent plants into your
landscaping and place mosquito repellent plants in pots
around entrances or decks. Mosquito repellent gardening
is most effective in small areas. . You could also add
species that attract mosquito predators, such as dragon
your own mosquito repellent by combining essential oils
from mosquito repellent plants, such as citronella,
lavender, or lemon balm with a base such as witch hazel
or olive oil.
the end of the season, cut and dry your annual insect
repellent plants. These cuttings can them be crumbled up
and used as potpourri around your living areas inside
citronella candles around your yard and porches/decks.
Citronella oil comes from plants, which can also be
planted in your yard.
basil has been shown to repel both flies and mosquitoes;
add pots of basil near entrances to your home.
you grill outdoors, with charcoal, once you are finished
cooking, add a bunch of sage or rosemary directly onto
the coals. The smoke in combination with the plants
bushes, shrubs, trees, and ivy in your yard. These
plants offer hiding places for mosquitoes. Trim back any
vegetation that is touching your home.
Bti larvacide "donuts" for permanent standing
water sources, such as ground depressions or rain
barrels. Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is a
naturally occurring bacterium that is deadly to mosquito
larvae but harmless to other living things, according to
the makers of Mosquito Dunks, which contain Bti as the
active ingredient. Bti keeps mosquito populations down,
— female mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water treated
with Bti — and mosquito larvae hatch, eat the Bti
spores and die before maturing into biting adults. Bti
does not adversely impact other insects, including bees
and butterflies, nor does it harm animals, fish, birds,
people or plants, according to experts.