Garden Tips - July 2017 - from Deborah Carney

Mosquitoes are going to be a real problem this year!

Article by Paul Parent
(Paul Parent Garden Club newsletter of July 6, 2017)

As gardeners, we all know how difficult it is to work in the garden when the mosquitoes are active in the yard. The best time for us to work in the garden is first thing in the morning or after supper, when the temperatures cool down a bit. Unfortunately, this is also the peak time for mosquito activity. I thought you would enjoy some information on mosquito life cycle and ways to better control them on your property. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. If you can eliminate or carefully monitor water in your yard, it will help to keep mosquito numbers down. Look for common sources of standing water, as these are mosquito-breeding sites. Examples are bird baths, flower pot saucers, clogged gutters, tires left near the tool shed outside, pet water bowls, buckets, garden pools and watering cans. These common areas can be more of a problem than small ponds or streams.

The mosquito life cycle has four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. If you can disrupt the sufficient levels of moisture that mosquitoes require to grow and develop, you can cut down the numbers that come into your yard. The larva and pupa stages need an aquatic environment to develop properly. The female adult will lay eggs in water, mud and tree crevices, as well as pools of standing water. Eggs need water to hatch and turn to the larvaewhich look worm-like and wiggle through the water. The larvae will move into a moist habitat with high organic matter before changing to a less mobile dormant stage, referred to as a pupa. The adult mosquito will emerge from the pupa in a winged form--ready to terrorize you and your family. The newly emerged adults can feed on plant juice or nectar. Only the female mosquitoes take blood as a meal. In Maine, there are estimates of roughly 40 mosquito species, according to the Maine Department of Conservation. Each species will show preferences for special blood hosts, time of the day to feed and requirements for blood for egg laying. The number of generations per year will depend on species, temperature and moisture around your home.

The adult mosquitos have common resting sites around your home, such as thick-growing shrubs, hedges, tall grass areas, shady gardens, under your decks, large tall growing perennial beds and areas where you spend time in the yard. These areas are where you should concentrate your applications of mosquito insecticides to control the adults. The application of pesticides on your property is more effective when applied at dawn and dusk, as this is when mosquitoes are most active. These products will last for only a few days but when applied regularly around your house, the mosquito population will be controlled more easily. Insect repellents help reduce the risk of mosquito bites, as do impregnated clothing, citronella candles and screening on porches. Mosquito plants or citronella geraniums sound good but do not work!

Summit Mosquito Dunks® are America's favorite biological mosquito control because Dunks kill mosquitoes before they're old enough to bite®. The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks® is BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a bacterium that's deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things. Just float biodegradable Mosquito Dunks® in ponds, birdbaths, fountains or wherever water collects to kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days. Mosquito Dunks® are organic and approved for use in fish habitats and animal watering troughs. Mosquito Bits® contain the same active ingredient as Mosquito Dunks®, and they are approved for the control of fungus gnats in container gardens and potted plants. Summit Year-Round® Spray Oil is an OMRI-approved horticultural oil that kills a wide range of insect pests. Summit Biological Caterpillar & Webworm Control contains 100% natural BTK, which kills caterpillars and webworms but has no effect on birds, earthworms, or beneficial insects such as honeybees and ladybugs.

For more information visit or call(800) 227-8664.

You can also use Natural Alternative Mosquito, tick and flea organic spray.  This product has the highest percentage of active ingrediance on the market today and it will last thirty day's without harming pets and family. Call us at 1-888-546-5941 or  Natural Alternative.  Or you can use Bonide Mosquito Beater granduals when you go camping or the new Natural spray bottle attached to your hose.

Enjoy the summer… Deb
References: (Paul Parent Garden Club newsletter of July 6, 2017)