The recent rainfall has been such a blessing. The bedding plants in both containers and in our flowerbeds are rapidly growing and blooming. Everything in the vegetable garden is getting established for fruit production this summer. I can hardly wait for a summer BLT with a slice of home grown tomato on it. We are enjoying all of the spring vegetables from the garden daily.
There is one thing though, that comes along with all the rain this time of the year, and that's mosquitoes. With rainfall and sprinkler systems adding water all around, the standing water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and their larvae. No matter what their preferred breeding habitat, all mosquitoes undergo the same four-stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larval and pupal stages are always aquatic. Without standing water, the life cycle of mosquitoes isn’t complete. Our first line of defense is to rid the area of standing water. It's that old red wagon collecting water, a plant saucer, or anything that allows water to stand that makes a perfect spot for a mosquito to lay eggs.
Unfortunately, mosquitoes travel up to 3 miles. Unless everybody in that area around you eliminates all of the breeding spots there is a good chance mosquitos will be around your place this summer. Fortunately, repellents are very effective in keeping mosquitos away; even the aroma of many of our garden plants work! Citrus plants, as well as their crushed leaves naturally repel mosquitoes. Oranges, lemons, lavender, basil and catnip naturally produce oils that repel mosquitoes and are generally pleasant to the nose. Their bitter, citrusy smell is one that mosquitoes tend to avoid unless they’re really hungry. Lantana has proven to be one of the most effective plants for repelling mosquitoes, plus it’s one of our favorite summertime flowering annuals.
Citronella geranium is also an effective tool used in repelling mosquitoes. Used in containers or hanging baskets by the patio, it offers a pleasant aroma. Wasps tend to not care for the aroma as well. Lemon balm, basil, garlic, ornamental onion, lavender and rosemary are all plants that mosquitoes shy away from.
Non-plant repellents and controls available include these products:
Summit Mosquito Dunks - Mosquito Dunks take care of mosquitoes before they're old enough to bite! If you have standing water you can't get rid of, such as in a bird bath or water garden, simply add Mosquito Dunks to kill mosquito larvae. Dunks are formulated with BTI, a bacteria that's toxic to only mosquito larvae. Safe for other wildlife, pets, fish, and humans. Dunks kill larvae within hours, and last for up to 30 days.
Bonide Mosquito Beater Granules - Bonide Mosquito Beater Granules repel mosquitoes for up to 3 weeks! Mosquito Beater is non-toxic and biodegradable. Its pleasant scent comes from citronella oil, garlic, geranium oil, cedar wood oil, and lemongrass oil. Easy-to-use shaker applicator.
ferti-lome MosquitoGo Granules - MosquitoGo Granules repel mosquitoes without harming beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. It's also safe around kids and pets! This product creates an irritant scent barrier using natural cedar oil. MosquitoGo also repels ants, fleas, roaches, beetles, crickets, chiggers, chinch bugs, flies, and gnats.
Murphy’s Mosquito Sticks - DEET free Mosquito Sticks burn like incense, creating a scent barrier with 10% repellent oils, including citronella, rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass, and cedar wood.
Our summer crop of larger annuals and perennials are hitting the tables in stores now. We have portulaca blooming in 6” pots with zinnias and vinca blooms close behind. Our summer perennials ready now include May Night salvia, dianthus, catmint, and butterfly milkweed with more being ready every few days. Come see us for a great selection of fresh color for your patio or garden.
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center
If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. - Dalai Lama