Environmentally Friendly Ways to Control Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are small winged insects that people love to hate. Particularly it is the female mosquitoes need for blood that makes it such a pest to humans, and other animals. She needs this blood produce young. Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, but in some countries, some strains of mosquito can carry malaria. In other areas concerns of mosquitoes carrying diseases (no they cannot carry AIDS) is also often talked about.
Not all species of mosquito's feed on human blood and indeed they do not need blood for their survival. They feed normally on nectar. The females only need blood to produce eggs.
In the past insecticides have been used to control mosquito populations, however these are not without risk to ourselves, our pets, and the other wildlife in the area (birds, and so forth). As such people are trying to get away from chemical solutions and looking for more natural means of controlling mosquito's in their yard. As such this is a list of natural ways to control mosquitoes, get rid of mosquitoes, and kill mosquitoes.
Bats eat hundreds of mosquitoes every night. In fact a single brown bat can catch and eat over 500 mosquitoes in an hour. Bats can be encouraged to live in a bat house (which are often sold and gardening centers, or you can try building your own). Cats should be kept indoors at night or they will go after the feeding bats.
Dragonflies and Damselflies also gobble down their share of mosquitoes, as well as almost any other flying insect. Encouraging them to inhabit an area is tricky, either they find your yard, or they don't. They tend to be found closer to water as they start life out underwater, where they also eat mosquito larvae. Some gardening centers, such as Gardens Alive!, and nurseries do sell dragonflies.
If you have a pond keeping fish in it is important as they will eat mosquito larvae. There is a rather plain looking fish, the mosquito fish, especially known for being fond of mosquito larvae. They look like female guppies. Goldfish will also eat some larvae.
Many species of bird will eat flying insects, of these the Purple Martin and Swallows are best known for having an appetite for mosquitoes. Purple Martin houses are sold in garden centers, Swallows will build their own nests, often on your home under the eaves. If you wish to encourage either bird to your yard, you will want to keep your cats indoors only. People who keep chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl, often notice fewer problems with both mosquitoes and flies.
Citronella is one of the best known plants for discouraging mosquitoes, however, they also dislike geraniums, lemongrass, lemonmint (anything lemony) and marigolds. One plant will not keep mosquitoes at bay, but several clumps will.
Speaking of plants, keeping your lawn cut short will mean fewer places for the mosquitoes to go during the heat of the day, this is when they would normally go down between the blades of grass to rest and digest the blood as their eggs develop. They actually build tunnels for this purpose and prefer cool areas.
As we recently covered, mosquitoes dislike citronella and lemon, as such candles of either scent, and incense, are often used to control mosquitoes. To be environmentally concerned, and to avoid chemicals, be sure to only use soy based, or beeswax, candles, never paraffin wax candles.
No Sitting Water
Sitting water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Keeping water fresh (as pet bowls, bird baths, etc) will dump out any growing larvae, killing them. If you have a pond, either keep fish in it (as mentioned earlier) or have a pump to keep the water circulating making it less friendly for mosquitoes to chose for laying their eggs.
If You Can't Beat them, Remember...
There are many other animals that depend on mosquitoes for their survival. In fact there are many species of animals that will vanish if mosquito's suddenly were wiped out. Also consider that if you use chemicals they will kill other beneficial insects, so its always best to try natural steps to controlling the mosquito population in your area first.
There is also a product called the Mosquito Magnet that is said to be very effective.