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Control the mosquitoes in your backyard naturally.

Posted

(Free-Press-Release.com) August 12, 2010 -- We all wait anxiously for the summer months, barbecues, swimming, biking, hiking, camping…and mosquitoes! While there are many products out there to help you with mosquitoes, including repellents which contain deet, which if used over time, can be bad for you. There are other options, like expensive mosquito foggers, electric bug zappers and more.

There are some other options, which aren’t explored as often and are more natural. The mosquito’s natural predators include dragonflies and bats. You can attract dragonflies by having a pool of water nearby, roughly 20 feet in diameter according to the British Dragonfly Association, although half-barrels have also worked. You’ll want at least a two foot depth, to give the dragonfly nymphs a place to dive to avoid their predators, like the raccoon. Some vegetation is also necessary, in order to give them protection against fish, and also allowing them a place to crawl up and be airborne, when they change from nymph to flying adult, according to the National Wildlife Foundation. If you have a stream or pond nearby with dragonflies, your chances at bringing them to your own yard are much better.

The other natural predator of the mosquito is the little brown bat, and other bats. Bats generally get a bad reputation for all carrying rabies and getting into people’s hair. In general, these are myths. As with all wild animals, any bites from a wild animal, including bats should be taken very seriously. If you can contain the bat, or animal, do so, so it can be tested immediately, and contact your doctor or local health department. The only reason bats fly near humans, is because they are after the insects around humans. Little brown bats can eat up to 600-1,000 insects in ONE HOUR, according to the Organization for Bat Conservation, or OBC, which makes them a great guest in your backyard.

To attract bats, simply put up a bat house, be careful in selecting your bat house. You’ll want one approved by the OBC, or very similar to that design. They are available at Barn in the Sticks.com. Or make your own, with plans available on the OBC’s website. The bat house design and placement will make all of the difference on your success on attracting bats. You’ll want to place it 15-20 feet off the ground and typically, they do best on the side of a structure, like a barn or a shed. If you don’t have a barn or shed to attach it to, you can attach it to a post or pole, or a tree, but your success rate will drop slightly.

Other products which work very well, are larva killers. If you are trying to attract dragonflies, do not use them. There are granuals and doughnut shaped “dunks”, which are made with safe products for your pets. These products can be placed in standing water, to eliminate the larva. Mosquito larva will not survive in moving water or wiggling water, so another option is to place a water wiggler in your bird bath to help with the mosquito population. The Water Wiggler and Mosquito dunks are available at Barn in the Sticks as well.