mosquito deterrent plants

Hello,
I live in a small low rise apartment block in a tropical climate. Its an average of 28 degrees all year round.
I've been put in charge of the apartment garden which is fairly substantial for this area- total of 5000 sq feet. I got the job after I strenously objected to someone's proposal to cut down all the trees and plants to get rid of the mosquito problem. Ya, got quite a lot of mossies here.
I walked around the garden. We don't have pool or ponds or catchement areas which collect water for them to breed - but they do pretty well in the heavily planted areas.
What are some good plants to put into a tropical garden to deter mosquitos? Would garlic, chilli or orchid plants work? Please advice.
--
Regards,
Wilde

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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 01:56:49 +0800, Wylie Wilde wrote:

It's very unlikely that there are plants that effectivly deter mosquitoes. If there were such plants, they would be everywhere you live 8). As far as 'bug zappers' go, they're rather ineffective at mosquito controll. Bug zapper kill way more beneficial insects than not.
As far as everyone hacking down the trees and plants, it seems that mosquios are great little fliers. Those little buggers will travel to find the food (you). I'd suggest that you start you control search with your local authorities. There's got to be some local resource for you somewhere. Nurseries, goverment agency, university extention offices..ect. Good luck to you.
--
Yard Works Gardening Co.
http://www.ywgc.com
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On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 11:47:03 -0800, Timothy

starting with, "I don't know of any...."
BIRC Reprints from the IPM Practitioner and Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly (Each reprint is $6 + $1.50 Mailing and Handling)
Horticulture and Garden Protection
Botanical mosquito repellents. Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly 12(4):12-19. http://www.birc.org/pubrep.htm
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Timothy said enough about what plants won't do. So, how about finding someone local who knows if any of your local birds like mosquitoes, *and* if there are certain plants they like for the seeds, or whatever. And, bats sometimes help, but again, you need specifics about the kind (if any) in your neighborhood.
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Isn't the concept of "mosquito deterrent plants" a bit of a myth? Mosquitoes (females that suck blood, that is) are attracted to carbon dioxide and body heat rather than particular odors given off by plants. The male mosquitoes pollinate flowers and do not suck blood.
BTW, mosquitoes breed in water not in trees. If you want to get rid of the beasties, you need to get rid of any standing water. Maybe it would be a better idea to get rid of all the swimming pools in the neighborhood not just your immediate area? A better solution would be to rid the area of unwanted people and their pets!!!!!

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snipped-for-privacy@spam.net says... :) BTW, mosquitoes breed in water not in trees. If you want to get rid of the :) beasties, you need to get rid of any standing water. Maybe it would be a :) better idea to get rid of all the swimming pools in the neighborhood not :) just your immediate area? :) That's a yes/no on where they breed. Many trees hold water for mosquitos to breed, even so much there is a specific species that solely lay there eggs in holes of trees. Many tropical garden type plants also will hold enough water for them to breed, especially the Asian Tiger mosquito, which eggs/larvae do not have to have continuous water supply to survive. The problem usually isn't so much a breeding source in neighborhoods, but a favorable place to hide out during the day in shady landscapes, more so when there is sprinkler system to keep those areas humid.
--
Lar

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Maybe all the psycopaths like you should be put away
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snipped-for-privacy@singnet.com.sg says... :) Hello, :) :) I live in a small low rise apartment block in a tropical climate. Its an :) average of 28 degrees all year round. :) :) I've been put in charge of the apartment garden which is fairly substantial :) for this area- total of 5000 sq feet. I got the job after I strenously :) objected to someone's proposal to cut down all the trees and plants to get :) rid of the mosquito problem. Ya, got quite a lot of mossies here. :) :) I walked around the garden. We don't have pool or ponds or catchement areas :) which collect water for them to breed - but they do pretty well in the :) heavily planted areas. :) :) What are some good plants to put into a tropical garden to deter mosquitos? :) Would garlic, chilli or orchid plants work? Please advice. :) :) Unless you are just totally opposed to spraying for them, the pyrethroid insecticides do well in repelling mosquitos. Depending on what is used may be 2 weeks to up to 2 months with the results. Basically just treating the shady areas where the mosquitos hang out during the day.
--
Lar

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I was in Singapore recently visiting gardens and since orchids do so well for you, I would guess you have a very moist climate. The first step is to avoid standing water:
Change water in birdbaths, and pet watering dishes every 48 hours. Stock ornamental pools with predacious fish. Never leave water in sprinkling cans or buckets for more than 48 hours. Check garden statuary for places water may collect. Add holes for drainage or empty regularly. Don't let water set for more than two days in flower pots or rain gutters. Fill tree holes with sand or mortar, or develop drain holes so water cannot accumulate.
Using mosquito-repelling plants, such as the citrosa plant and garlic, and electronic bug zappers are not known to significantly reduce mosquito numbers. The plants' anti-bug oils only protect their leaves. The lemon scented geraniums they're selling do repel skeeters - but not just sitting in a pot. You have to pick some leaves, crush them up and rub them on your skin. This works with any lemony-fragrance herb. University researchers found lemon thyme to be the best: it repels mosquitoes almost as well as commercial repellants, but only if you extract the oil from the plant and apply the oil to your skin.
Providing a hospitable habitat for mosquito predators makes the most sense. Bats can eat 600 mosquitoes per hour, a large dragonfly can eat 100 in one feeding foray, and toads are also big mosquito consumers. So perhaps some bat and toad houses would be a good addition.
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Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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Thank you all for your help and comments.
For starters, I would like to mention that the authorities do from time to time - "fog" the place with some form of insecticide.
However, this area does have some amazing butterflies and bird life. I saw a magnifcient very large golden yellow butterfly fly by the other day. And as such I would like to not use insecticides.
The problem with some of the tropical plants - is that they do collect water in their hollows and leaves. And the mossies take refuge in those areas.
I have also seen bats fly around my area, but haven't seen any dragonflies.
Neither do we have any ponds or swimming pools around the immediate area.
I do remember in the past, that the old gardener, once a week, would pile up the old leaves, wet them, and set them on fire near the mossie breeding grounds- creating a smokey haze. the smoke apparently deterred the mossies. Its eco-friendly - but rather "smoky". :)
Cheers!!
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I have also seen bats fly around my area, but haven't seen any dragonflies. ___________
If you've seen bats in the area, then I definitely would put up a bat house. Read up on placement, ways to attrack them, etc. It may take a while for them to find and settle into the house but it could be the answer for you.
Bonnie
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Around here, when the authorities spray the swamps to deter mosquito borne diseases, they use a larvicide. That way they can pinpoint the mosquitoes without hurting beneficial insects. See if you can get hold of a mosquito larvicide to spray the trees & other spots in the area that may contain standing water. I gather Singapore is an extremely tight-run neatnik place. Maybe you can enlist the government's help with some aerial spraying. I doubt if you have the only apartment house in the region with a mosquito problem. Iris, Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40 "A tree never hits an automobile except in self defense." - Woody Allen
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You may want to do a search on www.google.com for "Bat Houses". They are a way of attracting more bats to your area. I did a search for
"Bat Houses" Singapore
and got 925 hits.
A search for
"Bat Houses" Singapore mosquitoes
got 284 hits.
--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 01:56:49 +0800, "Wylie Wilde"

Maybe, but I've read studies that show plants have little or no effect. I know there is a "mosquito plant" but I question its effectiveness. Mosquitoes like dense shrubs, moisture, and blood! Without water the mosquitoes will be gone. Be sure to check gutters, flower pot saucers, old tires, tree hollows, birdbath, wading pools, anything that contains stagnant water. Using plants that quickly draw up water from the soil such as eucalyptus, can help for boggy soil conditions. Sassafras and sweet basil are said to ward off mosquitoes, but I grew lots of basil in my garden and still get bitten. I know that having a pond with fish encourages mosquitoes to lay their eggs, the fish eat the larvae, and the end result is fewer mosquitoes. Just a small barrel water garden with two goldfish will work. The most effective way not to get bitten is the use of DEET.
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Try lemon grass. i would have some more data points except mine died of drowning twice.
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