Posted on August 17, 2012 by Joyce Benson 1 Comment
If you’re tired of being dinner to these nasty bugs carrying West Nile Virus and other diseases, here are some ideas to get rid of them in your yard without spraying toxic chemicals:
1. Attract BIRDS that love to dine on mosquitoes. They’ll eat hundreds! It’s a win-win, the birds help you and you help them. Many bird species are declining at alarming rates, so providing a healthy habitat for them is helpful. Be sure to provide birds with a year-round water source, proper shelter, and a supplemental food source of seeds to initially attract them. Also, avoid using pesticides which kill millions of birds every year.
Fill bird feeders with sunflower, safflower, thistle and canary seeds, as well as peanut kernels and nutmeats. Keep in mind that corn, millet & milo attract only seed-eating birds.
Birds effective at mosquito control include: the tree swallow, violet-green swallow, barn swallow, eastern kingbird chickadees, house wrens, gray catbirds, bluebirds, vireos, warblers, orioles, tanagers, and even some of the sparrows such as the chipping sparrow. Plus, there’s more:
Purple Martins. Provide them with a gourd nest box if you live in the Eastern United States, or habitat such as tree cavities and building crevices, if you live west of the Rockies. (photo above courtesy of Mason Dixon Park)
Common Nighthawks. These small birds hunt for insects at dawn & dusk and can be seen flying erratically overhead, often mistaken for bats. They prefer open gravel surfaces, including flat roofs, for nesting. (photo above courtesy of Aves Photo & Promontory Club)
Hummingbirds. These tiny fast-flying creatures are skilled at catching gnats and are great advocates for the garden because they also eat aphids. Visit Hummingbirds.net for information on how to attract them to your yard. (photo courtesy of Low Country Hummingbirds blog)
2. Invite dragonflies to your yard. In 30 minutes, they can eat enough mosquitoes, and other flying insects, equivalent to their own body weight! Eco Living Advice has a great article on attracting dragonflies to your yard. (photo courtesy of Scientific American‘s article on the disappearing dragonfly)
3. Be Bat-friendly, and they’ll consume thousands of mosquitoes each night, plus they’re important pollinators! Check out Bat Conservation International for bat house guidelines (pdf) and to learn about the white fungus disease killing off millions of bats & what you can do to help.
4. Stock your ornamental pond with mosquito-eating fish such as the mosquito fish (Gambusia), guppies, bait minnow and goldfish.
5. Protect yourself & your surroundings with natural mosquito repellents. Birds N Ways has an informative site regarding mosquito control and protection.
mosquito photo above courtesy of VolunteerOrganic.com