Hello, again!

I knew it would happen sooner than later. This morning I was enjoying my java ritual on the back patio when the buzz of mosquitoes started. We’ve had good rains and warmer temperatures recently, which provides opportunities for mosquito larvae where water tends to stand. Birdbaths, container plant saucers, places where we don’t expect standing water, or even old tires, buckets, or a bit of water that fills up a bottle cap can be a problem. No matter how diligent we can be to empty standing water, it’s going to happen. Think about a bit of water standing in your gutter!

The first line of defense is to control the larvae before they are able to pupate into adults. Biologicals are the easiest, safest and most effective means of control. A couple of natural, organic compounds are very effective against insect larvae such as mosquitoes, bagworms and others.

Here are two fish and bird safe options to control the larvae in standing water:

BioAdvanced Mosquito Killer Fizz Tabs containing Spinosad, are the long-lasting preventative solution you need in the fight against mosquitoes. These unique tabs control mosquito larvae for up to 60 days - even as standing water dries up and returns. Simply drop a Mosquito Killer Fizz Tab in all standing water around your home to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Tabs are safe for use around fish and plants. Use in bird baths, ornamental fish ponds, garden ponds, ornamental fountains, flower pots or planters, rain barrels, buckets, wheelbarrows, garbage cans, floor drains, pot holes, tire tracks, and more. For outdoor use only. One 6-pack provides protection for up to 1 year.

Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) is a bacteria that's toxic to mosquito larvae. Safe for other wildlife, pets, fish, and humans, the dunks kill larvae within hours, and last for up to 30 days. BT is available in a couple of delivery methods such as Summit Mosquito Dunks, and Bonide Mosquito Beater Water Soluble Pouches.

When mosquitos are present, these are the repellants I like:

Bonide Mosquito Beater Naturals Spray repels mosquitoes, gnats, flies and other nuisance insects for up to two weeks! Made with natural, pleasant-smelling ingredients including cedar, citronella, geranium, and lemongrass oils.

MosquitoGo from ferti-lome repels mosquitoes without harming beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. Safe around kids and pets, MosquitoGo Granules create an irritant scent barrier using natural cedar oil, and repel ants, fleas, roaches, beetles, crickets, chiggers, chinch bugs, flies, and gnats as well.

Bonide Mosquito Beater Spray is designed to kill and repel mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks for up to four weeks. For use on or around your lawn, deck, screens, doors, or window frames.

We also have a great assortment of ornamental annuals that repel mosquitoes:

Lemongrass adds beauty to the garden, forming a clump of graceful, arching leaves within one season. Foliage emits a lemony fragrance. The bulbous portion of the stem is often used in cooking.

Citronella geranium is a tender perennial with beautiful pink flowers and lemony scented foliage that will repel mosquitoes.

Eucalyptus citriodora, a native to Australia that produces the oil used in many natural repellants. While it's not winter hardy in our area, it will make a great patio or house foliage plant.

Whatever your line of defense is, whether it’s to prevent, repel or kill mosquitos, we have many options available. Come visit us!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center