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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:37 am 
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I have a confession. Yesterday I dumped the water from an upside down recycling container. It contained many good size wigglers (mosquito larva). It is mosquito season again in North Texas!

With all the rain, it is important to make sure your gutters are clean so that no water sits. It does not take much water for mosquito larvae to live. If you live in a zero lot line home, remember to include the gutters that may be over the yard next door.

Remember to put Bti in places with standing water. This includes birdbaths (unless you thoroughly clean them every three days), emergency shut-off valves for water, gardening containers, and any other place with standing water.

Make sure to keep plastic bags stored well so that they do not get water trapped in the folds. Mosquito larvae can hatch from places smaller than a bottle top, not just the new plastic kind, but also the metal ones.

Bti comes in many forms. The dough nut shaped "cakes" (or "bricks") are usually good up to one month. Read the package instructions carefully and replace as necessary.



* Bti (From www.Wikipedia.com):
Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis (Bti) is a group of bacteria used as biological control agents for larvae stages of certain Dipterans. Bti produces toxins which are effective in killing various species of mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and blackflies, while having almost no effect on other organisms. Indeed this is one of the major advantages of B. thuringiensis products in general - they have very few, if any, non-target effects.

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 Post subject: XMosquito System
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:15 am 
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Location: Grapevine,TEXAS
You are so right about the mosquitos. I have been bitten alot lately while working in my garden. My husband and I are diligent about cleaning out bird baths, etc., but they are still around. A friend of mine said they were interested in getting the XMosquito system. I looked it up on the internet, but am not sure if it is not harmful to beneficial bugs. It says it kills mosquitoes, flies, and gnats. The description says it uses a "natural pyrethum-based insecticide." Does anyone know anything about this? Thank you.

Lisa B.
Grapevine, Texas


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:18 pm 
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Anything that kills broad spectrum like that is going to kill beneficial insects. Flying insects include dragonflies, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. Beneficial insects keep the pest insects in check.

Pyrethrum is not accepted in an organic program.
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/dallasnews.php?id=394

Suggest to your friend that she repel the mosquitoes with garlic spray or cedar instead.

Repellents vary in the way they work from person to person. Many essential oils do a great job of repelling mosquitoes. These include orange, vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, and more.
I like the following repellent: http://www.biteblocker.com/

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 Post subject: Thank you
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:53 am 
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Dear Nadine, thank you so much for telling me this. I had no idea. My neighbor wants to install this system and they wanted us to do it too because our mosquito problem is so bad. Anyway, we are definitely NOT going to do this and I will tell them I hope they don't either. Thank you so much for this valuable information.

Lisa B.
Grapevine, Texas


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:50 pm 
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I appreciate your inquiry. The best way to manage mosquitoes is prevention. Standing water is something that can sneak up on you. Is there an area that has grown up recently, hiding a tuna can you had to monitor your sprinkler system or an upside down jar lid or even a plastic bag (which can hold water in a crease)? Are your gutters clear for water to flow through or are you growing more stuff up there (including mosquitoes)? It is not so easy to be diligent, but it is important.

Remember to contact your city BEFORE they spray. (Best to call at least by the end of May). I spoke with a friend of mine who works for the city in the environmental department. He told me they do not usually spray unless people call and ask them to spray. Then they do mosquito trapping and testing in that area. If you ask them not to spray, they usually will not. Spraying costs them money. All it took was a visit to the city website and an email to them stating my wishes. I received a confirmation by phone within 48 hours. It was so easy; it seems a crime not to take action. I plan to do the same each year, to be sure.

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The Laws of Ecology:
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:01 am 
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Dear Nadine, my husband and I are pretty diligent, but I'm sure there is always room for improvement. We have some pretty icky trees in our front and back yard that are huge and are always filling up our gutters, so he is constantly cleaning them. We try to keep any standing water at a minimum, but like I said, there is always room for improvement.

I still need to speak to my neighbors about that mosquito control they are planning to install. I know the problem they have is caused by standing water on the side of their house. Last year they were out of town and my husband and I mowed their lawn and in the backyard we were actually sloshing around in water as we mowed the lawn. I told them about it, but don't know if anything has been done since then. I am sure this is where their mosquito problem is coming from. Also, the neighbors behind us rarely mow their lawn and even if they do, they have alot of standing shrubbery in their backyard that is not maintained - so I am sure alot of mosquitos and critters are living there.

The people who live on the other side of us are in the process of putting their house up for sale. They have had alot of stuff that they've accumulated in a building in their backyard that they have been cleaning out and needless to say, we've already had a rat in our backyard. I'm assuming by the time they get it all cleaned up and ready to show, there will be a few more critters moving to our yard.

As you can tell, we have alot to deal with around us.

One thing I have noticed that we have an addition mosquito problem with are my potted plants outside. Every time I water them, mosquitoes fly out of them. Is there anything I can do to control that? I've tried dishwashing soap mixed with water but it doesn't help. I'm also diligent about not overwatering.

Is it okay to put those mosquito rings (?) in birdbaths? They won't harm the birds, will they?

Thanks for all your welcomed comments and advice.

Lisa


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:47 am 
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My, you do have a lot with which to contend. Sounds like my neighborhood, except the shed where things have been accumulating since the previous owners still remains. The current owners ignore it. Rats love it there.

All I can suggest is perhaps a flier or talking to your neighbors. Developing relationships with them before discussing topics such as this will have the most successful results. Even then, you get some people who are hard- headed, those who just do not care, or those who do not like to be told something they are doing (or not doing) is cause for concern. You might mention that it is you, who upon noticing many mosquitoes, discovered that your gutters needed cleaning. You might mention that you put mosquito dunks in your birdbath (no, it will not harm the birds) to keep the mosquito population down. Education, awareness, and taking a proactive approach are the best ways to keep the mosquito population down. Spraying will only exacerbate the situation.

Mosquitoes do not breed in tall grass; they just like to hang out there (especially the males, which do not bite animals; they are vegetarians). Upon disturbing the area, mosquitoes will fly. The same goes for plants in pots, with one exception: pots that hold water. Is something blocking the drainage hole in the bottom allowing water to remain at the top? Do you use pots with the dish around the bottom that holds water? I do not recommend this type of pot, especially for outdoor use.

When you noticed standing water in the neighbor’s lawn, how long had it been since it rained? I believe it takes about 5 days for mosquitoes to lay eggs and the larvae (wigglers) to mature into mosquitoes. See http://www.mosquitoes.org/LifeCycle.html for great information.

I wish you success regarding your neighbors. I place dunks in the gutters of mom’s neighbor. Being in a zero lot-line home, the gutters are in mom’s side yard, and are easy for the neighbor to neglect.

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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 2:52 pm 
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I am thinking of installing a cistern to collect to run off rain water from our barn and house. Will this become a giant mosquito breeding tank?


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 8:42 pm 
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If the water is stagnant, not moving, it has the potential to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you put the "mosquito dunks" in it, the Bti product, and replace no less often than every 30 days, you should be all right. Thank you for asking! :)

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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 9:36 am 
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Nadine wrote:
If the water is stagnant, not moving, it has the potential to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you put the "mosquito dunks" in it, the Bti product, and replace no less often than every 30 days, you should be all right. Thank you for asking! :)
Part of the water will be used to water my cattle, are the dunks ok for the livestock?


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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 5:43 pm 
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Mosquito dunks will not harm livestock. If your livestock eats them however, they will not be much good at keeping mosquitoes from hatching. <g>

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Hi, Nadine. I live in Oak Cliff, where I'm able to keep an organic (fairly messy) yard, which is also very bird, lizard, and bug friendly. I haven't noticed many mosquitoes yet, nor did I last year. Do you think it's possible that the other critters in my yard help keep the mosquito population down? Or am I just an optimist :?


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 6:25 am 
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It does help to have the lizards and birds, but I do not know to what degree. Mosquitoes will fly a good distance, ignoring property lines and fences. You may just be fortunate to live in a neighborhood where people are wise about standing water.

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The Laws of Ecology:
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