Sorry, just another human being. Please note the feet of clay. I see I
don't have much time as the "Mad Cow" gang is on their way.
Vegetable oil was just the first thing I thought of because that is one
of the things that the mosquito abatement program in Sonoma County
recommends for standing water (usually considered non-toxic). The first
thing they recommend is mosquito fish or is this going to jam up the
dragonflies too (one wiggler might look much like another wiggler, much
like sharks with seals and surfers)? I'm not an entomologist, so if this
idea falls flat or you want to explore it further, check with your local
mosquito abatement program or the Entomology Dept. of your nearest
Oops, I hear the sound of hooves, I'd better run.
standing water is entirely different than a pond. standing
water would be the stuff caught in old tires, or possibly a
rain barrel. it's water that isn't part of an ecosystem (no
frogs, no fish, no other insect larvae, possibly algae but no
mosquito fish are too small to eat dragonfly larvae. in fact,
they're likely to be eaten *by* the dragonfly larvae :)
mosquito wigglers are tiny (but my chickens love them).
dragonfly larvae get much larger, up to just over an inch long
(depending on the type of dragonfly obviously). damselflies,
otoh, are what 'ant lions' (doodlebugs) turn into.
young water boatmen & watermelon seeds (i should look up the
real name of those) also eat mozzie larvae.
Actually ant lions and damselflies are different orders of
insects...damselfly nymphs, like their cousins the dragonfly are totally
aquatic. Adult ant lions may resemble damselflies but an easy way to
tell them apart (other than the awkward flying) is the adult ant lion
will have distinct antennae sticking out from their heads.
Most damselflies will rotate the wings almost 90 degrees then "park"
them running the length of the body where ant lion adults will turn them
slightly where they look more flat and then extend them the length of
well, you brought back a memory from me, Scott......I too had a way into
my basement back in Nashville where I put the litter box for the many
cats I had at that time. Here is the ONLY solution which will give you
relief. Back then, the house I lived in had a dirt basement with a
small slab for part of the floor. The breaker blew out and my husband
who had been drinking all night and had had a bit of the hair of the dog
had just gotten out of the shower. Convenient timing, to say the least.
So anyway, he goes and opens up the basement door, moves the cat box
aside and starts to descend the steps and gets to the bottom one and to
the box that is on a cedar post that my dad's electrician friend had
installed breaker box replacing the old fuse box, and I heard this
scream, growing louder as the thumping rose to the main
house....apparently Squire had descended into what the bug man later
described as a bed of fleas that absolutely adore dirt. They can lay
dormant (as Lars will attest seeing as he's an exterminator himself <g>)
and breed quietly until they are a mass of starved fleas just waiting
for blood. My cat's would stop at the top of the landing and refuse to
go to the box sitting there. And the bug man told us that fleas could
jump 36 FEET?????!!!!??? holy itchy flesh. So Squire's ankles were
BLACK with fleas when he went down the steps to throw the breaker. The
bug man started down and they went for his face.........he'd sprayed the
cuffs of his pants and sleeve cuffs and they still went for his
Short answer was, he sprayed the dirt, laid down boric acid powder, then
put powder on the steps leading down, and told us to put the litter box
somewhere else. If one of the cats had gone out of desperation, they'd
been almost sucked dry as the fleas had gotten downstairs from one or
two and had quietly and manically multiplied. Scary thought.......And I
adore Frontline for my dawgs and cats now. Advantage doesn't seem to
work as well for my animals as Frontline does. don't know why, and no
flaming please for those who Advantage DOES work. It's the same for
critters as it is people. Some people stuff works like simply eating
garlic (my cats adore garlic which DOES help as they sweat through their
pits unlike dogs) but the Frontline works miracles. Pest or "Old Krusty
the Kat" as he's known during the spring and summer months because of
his skin condition due to mosquito's gnawing him to hundreds of sores
suffers horribly. Garlic helps, but not until the nights cool does he
get relief. I also feed him "mush" (soft cat food, not shredded, but
just Friskies or Alley Cat whichever is on sale at the local grocery)
which helps put oils back into his coat. He's almost naked during these
months due to not fleas, but mosquito's poor kitty......He is now
actually growing his fur back right now. And we finally got RAIN
yesterday!!!! WOO HOO!!!!! better late than never, eh? Good luck on
the advice there for yer fleas. I had fleas for the first time in YEARS
this year due to the drought and conditions. And apparently this year
was the worst MY bug man had seen for black widow spiders in this
region. (we have them, as well as recluse's and a wide assortment of
other harmless spiders, and I had my first sighting of a "garden writing
spider" in six or seven years which was really awesome. I suspected
that "Bugs Bob" might have accidentally treated part of my front gardens
and was the main reason I didn't have them, but I'm not sure. I'm so
organic in regards to my flower beds that I still had mantis and bees
and lizards, toads, peepers, cicada's etc en-mass this year despite that
I never watered at all......
madgardener, still up on the ridge (for now), back in faerie holler,
overlooking a wonderfully colorful and now misty English Mountain in
Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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