Last summer, my backyard was a mosquito rock concert. From July
through late September it was almost impossible to use my yard, late
day or night.
There's no standing water. I'm told that it's because of all my
tomato plants, which attract male mosquitos, which attract the biting
females. Whatever, I'm growing even more tomatoes this year and I'd
like to be able to go outside without being an insect feast and also
without dousing myself in Deet.
I'm looking for something to kill the little buggers. I'm told that
conventional bug zappers don't work well with mosquitos. Some
neighbors have built bat houses but I'm also told that mosquitos
aren't a favorite dish for bats either.
Any reasonable ideas?
An occasional spraying of Malathion if you get a real outbreak is quite
effective and breaks down within a few days...
Swallows are also effective if one has them...
But, best is the water-hunting, but--you can do so, but unless all your
neighbors are as zealous as you, you'll still get an infestation after a
rain and a week or so dry spell...
-> Last summer, my backyard was a mosquito rock concert. From July-> through late September it was almost impossible to use my yard, late-> day or night.-> -> There's no standing water. I'm told that it's because of all my-> tomato plants, which attract male mosquitos, which attract the biting-> females. Whatever, I'm growing even more tomatoes this year and I'd-> like to be able to go outside without being an insect feast and also-> without dousing myself in Deet.-> -> I'm looking for something to kill the little buggers. I'm told that-> conventional bug zappers don't work well with mosquitos. Some-> neighbors have built bat houses but I'm also told that mosquitos-> aren't a favorite dish for bats either.-> -> Any reasonable ideas?
Since you're growing tomatoes the foggers are out of the
question (garden foggers in a spray can - Raid, etc.). I've
had success with them, though, in keeping the little buggers
away for a few hours.
You could try the mosquito coils (Off!, I think, makes them).
You burn them and they sort of smolder for a few hours, keeping
the mosquitoes away. There are also those new lantern-type things
that are supposed to be mosquito repellants. There's a candle inside
and you put this little thing in the lantern above the candle so
that it heats up and repels mosquitoes. Again, I think Off! makes
As far as killing them, you'd have to use something that would likely
make your tomatoes inedible, and it probably wouldn't be effective
Best thing is to remove all standing water after a rain so they have
no place to breed. Take a good walk around your property and look
painstakingly for standing water.
Hummingbirds eat mosquitoes, so put up some feeders and attract them
(www.hummingbirds.net is the best place for info). Bats eat them, too,
but I don't know if they're a favorite food! I've also heard that
purple martins eat them, so put up a martin house (those big multi-
bird house units on top of the tall poles).
That's my uneducated advice! I hope it helps.
One that works is called " The amazing handheld bug zapper" It is like a
small tennis raquet that puts out enough voltage to fry horse flys. They
often explode-pop loudly in a white flash. Good nightime entertainment,
even inside easier than swatting them. They cost apx 12$
Bats do a great job on mosquitoes, but they're not an instantaneous
solution - it can take months or years for bats to move in to a bat
There's a lot of info on bat houses here:
But the basic information is very simple:
Bat houses are very inexpensive, average $50, much cheaper if you make
You need to mount the bat house facing south, at least 15 feet above
You can mount it directly on your house or another structure, erect a
pole, or use a tree. However, the house must be visible from the south
at all times. If tree branches or other structures obstruct the house,
bats are unlikely to ever find it.
That's about all there is to it.
Note that bats are no more likely to have rabies or get into your house
than squirrels. In fact, the best way to think of them is as flying
squirrels that eat mosquities :)
even adopting the bat house, but rather the relative warmth of the
house. The conservation organizations say south or southeast to take
advantage of morning(east) and winter(south) sun, and the bat babies
need it warm. Why morning sun would be more important than afternoon
sun, I do not know :)
I just realized I should probably shouldn't have been such a regional
chauvinist, sorry :)
In the north america, south-facing houses are recommended. I know next
to nothing about bats outside of NA.
Being still a new home owner, I can still remember each summer.
1st summer, very dry, and the local creek had very many stagnet pools
of water. My son, then under 1 yearold was like veal to these blood
suckers. He was immediatly pounced on, spray my yard no luck. Oh we
have hundreds of bats from a local cave, still tough hanging outside.
2nd summer, lots of rain. The fast moving water lowered the
mosquitos, but then we had 'black flies' Larger, and more agresseive
than the mosquitos. It sucked. Bats were fat, bugs sucked use dry,
and sprays did nothing.
3rd summer, rain off and on. Got a Mosquito Magnet. Life was good.
A neighbor commented one night how there must have been a weird
summer, she didn't remember one mosquito bite all summer, and she was
able to work in her garden again(lots of tomatoe plants). So, the
contraption worked for my yard, as well as my neighbors.
This summer, gunna clean it up, give it a fresh tank, and let the
machine do the work. :)
I have to say, imho, I recommend getting a mosquito magnet. I got the
defende modelr, since my hard is under 1/4 acre.
tom @ www.ChopURL.com
Yes, these machines are lots of money, so I did more research, and
found I personally didn't like the colemans. Felt it was like a high
priced flypaper. I went with the mosquito magnet, I'm very happy. We
were able to retake our yard without spraying pesticides, or
As soon as springtime gets here in earnest and I put ours up, they stay
on continuously until taken down in the fall after the first killing
frost. Besides the nighttime critters it then works on various daylight
beasties (mostly moths, etc.) as well. I'll use some of the attractant
on occasion if there's a particular infestation but it's normally not
needed and somewhat expensive for continous usage.
I have no clue where this piece of the recipe came from but I can attest
that bats found the eave vent on my house which definitely didn't not
face nor was it even visible from the south...of course, the house was
in "the South" if that counts... :)
Methinks this is legend, not fact.
On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 09:37:20 -0400, The Real Tom <tom @
Magnet - that's the one they bought! Didn't work one bit for them. They
were trying to keep a relatively small area clear - about 1/4 acre. The
unit was rated for up to 2x that.
I got to witness one of them first hand. The unit was slowly humming away
and we were getting bitten alive. Colossal waste of money, IMHO.
Despite appearances (that I'm using news.indidual.net which is in
Germany), <I'm> not... :)
I can see some perceived advantage to an exposed location for warmth as
you say, but that's anthromophising their behavior at least partly if
I just observed that the opening actually chosen contra-indicated the
supposition. Of course, a house eave vent supplies heating via another
mechanism, but they could have chosen one which did have sun in either
the morning or evening it they had thought that a significant criterion
as the particular house had all possibilities available. :)
BTW, I know nothing of bats outside of NA, either, and very little other
than observing the one colony that chose to reside in the house until I
had to clean it up to sell and the realtor freaked out. :(
Here we're too dry and no surface water which I understand is a required
portion of suitable habitat for them.
I have two "Mosquito Magnets". They are made by American Biophysics,
I think of Rhode Island. They are ridiculously expensive, but they
work extremely well - not only for mosquitoes, but black flies as
I have had them now for at least 5 years. I have had to replace the
generators which seem to quit after about 3 years, but the company has
offered reduced cost units even when they are out of warranty.
They require changing 8lb propane cylinders every 3 weeks, and the
mosquito attractant and the collection bag at the same time, so
they're not cheap to maintain either, but they have been extremely
effective for us up in northern NH. (I don't bother changing the bag
except for once a season which saves a little bit) Nothing else
worked and I've been living up here and dealing with the problem for
over 30 years. For what it's worth, we grow tomatoes as well.
I'd suggest (also) that you check Consumer Reports or other sites for
comparisons as somebody must make one now that is less expensive and
still works. We bought a Mosquito Magnet the first year it was
offered, and quickly bought another the following year, once we saw
how effective it was.
i use a 1 acre bug zapper and live on a 1/4 acre lot and have it on a timer
away from the house on the rear fence. it comes on from dusk to about
midnight and comes back on about 4am and goes off around dawn every day,
rain or shine and i've noticed a difference. i find hundreds weekly of
those little bloodsuckers lying dead and ants love eating them too. they
say there is a scent you can add to attract them but they just flock to
it,especially when it's pitch dark in the middleof the night.
We tried two different ones down here in central Texas and neither of them
worked..The first one was the Mosquito Magnet mentioned above..Sucker was
expensive and caught maybe a dozen skeeters in two weeks. Took it back,
refund, then tried a different brand from Costco..Worked similar but had a
built in timer which would turn it on in the morning and evening..It was
worse yet..We took that one back too..Did some checking around and it
appears different types of skeeters these things work better with..Down here
in Austin we have the damn Asian tiger, and they are not attracted as much
to C02 but more to lactic acid or something like that..The girl at Costco
said they had gotten a ton back..But I do hear they work better on the
skeeters up further north..The more "traditional" american variety I
guess..Wish it had worked..Sure would have been better than a bath in
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