How can I make my backyard mosquito free?

Any suggestions, devices, old wives tales?

Those “mosquito attracters” that use CO2 or whatever don’t work, nor does anthing that claims to use certain tones, frequencies, or is sound-based in any way. Neither do the UV ones, not anything based on magnetism or EMR. If it were that easy we would have eliminated them long ago.

On a personal basis Citronella works for me, and smells nice too. Mind you so did standing next to my then-wife, who attracted them like, well, flies.

But to free up the whole backyard you need to find where they are coming from and eliminate it. This means free-standing slow-running or stagnant water within maybe 100 metres.

Let him out of the jar? :wink:

Curse you, Large Marge!

I saw the Thread title and thought, “Only two responses- I could be the first!!!”

Walnuttrees are supposed to keep flies and mosquito’s away. Walnuttrees were often planted near the house so people could sit under them in summer and have the combined advantages of shade, less flies and mosquito’s and walnuts in winter.
In rural Holland, leafy twigs from walnuttrees were attached to the headgear of horses for the same reason.

Askance is right about the stagnant water. Even water in empty pots, puddles or rainpipes in your backyard can contain musquitolarvae that continuously hatch form there to haunt your evenings in your backyard.
They are quite easy recognizable to the naked eye, little critters built like the typical drawings of viruses, 0.5 cm long and making very typical jerky bend-straighten movements.

Have you asked you local insect-study group for information on your local mosquito’s? For instance, certain mosquito’s only fly in the evening. You could declare the back-yard off-limits after certain hours.

Took me a full 47.2 seconds… Then the LOLing began!

Build a Bat Box.

Those critters just love them.

Now if you have a problem with bats…


Mosquitoes are territorial, kill them, and it takes a while for more to move in. If I keep up with the spraying early in the season (once every 2-3 days), then towards the end of the summer, I’m spraying only every 2-3 weeks.

It doesn’t kill EVERY mosquito, but it does kill enough that you feel that you are in a bug free zone.

1.) Build your house at the South Pole
2.) Put a BIG mosquito net around your entire yard
3.) Live on MIR
4.) Live underwater

5.) Install a constant rain shower

Regrettably, bats tend to dine on moths and insects larger than mosquitos. I’m not saying that they don’t eat them at all, but analysis of the contents of bat’s stomachs tend to indicate that they’re not the mosquito vacuum cleaners that legend would have them be.

Now dragonflies seem to be extremely efficient mosquito eaters. But I don’t know how you can encourage dragonflies to take up residence.
There are various folky approaches-- certain geraniums, lemon balm, and a few other herbs are said to repel skeeters. Couldn’t hurt to plant some, and your yard will smell nice.

That’s easy enough… all you need is a constant supply of mosquitoes and the dragonflies will be there with their dinner bibs on.

Living in Houston (aka the Amazon Jungle) we had mosquito problems until we installed a Mosquito Mister. We are now mosquito free, hallelujah!!

folks at the Feed store said to place a couple of Purple Martin birdhouses (to attract them to your property, of course) and they’ll take care of the flying insects… houses must be compartment design.

I was pretty impressed with my cousin’sMosquito Magnet. But I don’t have that much money lying around. His back yard was pretty mosquito free for his gathering, and he showed me the bag that he emptied the day before, and it had become pretty full. In theory, if you run it all the time, the area becomes pretty much mosquito free. He had only run it for a couple days prior, so later in the evening when the wind shifted, the buggers were back.

This is true. Some ex-neighbors had one in their backyard, and those purple martins cleaned up the mosquito population not just in their yard, but in ours also.

And I say this as a person to whom all flying/biting/stinging insects flock instinctively, and in droves. (Everyone else gets two/four bites, I get twenty.)

If you’re just looking for an immediate cure, however, and you’re out of insect repellent (or just don’t like the way it smells) a friend of mine recommended applying ordinary pickle juice to your skin. I scoffed at the idea until I tried it.

They wouldn’t come near me. ME. The Pied Piperette of Mosquitoes.

According to that site: “The natural pyrethrum kills all flying insects such as Mosquitoes, Wasps, Bees, Flies, Gnats, even Spiders, Roaches and Ants !”. I wouldn’t want to even live there, let alone slaughter every insect in my garden.

That’s one of the CO2 machines I was referring to. The consensus I could gather from various online sources is that they basically don’t work, or at least they only work in a few cases and places and it’s not clear why. Chancy for $500-$1,000.

Purple Martins and Bats. Yes, they’re very good bug eaters, however, they like to live near water. I live a mile from the river, and my bat house has never had tenants. Most martin houses get taken over by the more aggressive English Sparrows. There is a complicated regimen of timing and plugged entrances that some folks use to exclude the sparrows until the martins come, and you might have enough patience and luck to have that work.

CO2 and warm moist air. The carbon dioxide lure was known before the Scientific American article showing that they’re also attracted to the column of warm moist air that trails downwind from a sweating mammal (that’s us.) If you’re having an outdoor party, you can bribe your neighbors to set up pots of dry ice and kettles of boiling water on their gas grills a quarter-mile from your party.

The fogger. if you don’t mind insecticide and its smell, you can walk around with a propane-powered fogger to kill the little vampires.

Kill the larvae, harmlessly. Carefully go around your own property and your neighbors’ properties. Find everything that could hold a little rainwater, and spray it with Thurengiensis natural insecticide (Thuricide® is one brand.) It’s a bacterial product that paralyzes the innards of larval insects. It doesn’t hurt humans or their pets (Well, I’m not sure about your tarantulas.) Hit the gutters, flowerpots, culverts, and anything that will hold a little water. Even the best-laid gutters hold some little puddles.

The Thuringiensis is self perpetuating, and it will probably last until the freeze.

Pyrethrum, by the way, is made from chrysanthemums, and to humans, it’s pretty tame stuff.

I officially want one of these! Living in New Hampshire, where the mosquito and blackfly are the state birds, this would be a godsend!

But I don’t have the $2500 laying around, so I’ll stick with my $15 bottles of malathion for now.

Everything I hear about these is that they work great. You can read the instructions for them online, and it does seem a bit tricky to get set up correctly. Placement is important. It must be upwind and accessable to the mosquitos. Also, they take 6 weeks or so to get your yard free of the bugs.

So, they are tricky and require patience, but everything I’ve heard is that they kill em all.