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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Instead of Nerve Gas, How About Natural Mosquito Control?!?!

Well, after hanging all sorts of flyers in Laramie and now a few in Saratoga telling about the potential side-effects of the synthetic pyrethroids and malathion that many communities and regions spray in the air to control mosquitos, I decided I ought to offer a few alternatives to those of you who don't like getting fogged with nerve gas . . .

First one, and one I've been promoting for years as a natural replacement for fogging with neurotoxins:


They just love to munch those bugs!!!!

Get rid of any standing water, or if you have a fountain or ornamental pond, why not add some fish that eat mosquitos and their larvae. Koi (i.e., those big goldfish) eat mosquitoes and their larvae, as do frogs and their tadpoles. There are also mosquito specific parasites and bacteria that can be purchased for the issue, but I'd rather watch the fish or tadpoles or frogs eat 'em!! It is also of note that the toxins sprayed from trucks or planes designed to kill mosquitos also kill their predators!!! Rather counterproductive, eh?!?!

Purple martins and mud swallows are also effective at depleting mosquito populations, and putting up birdhouses for the former and encouraging the presence of the latter can be of no small help in naturally controlling said blood suckers . . . and they're a nice way to bring nature closer to your urban, suburban or rural home.

Catnip, garlic, rosemary, marigolds, mosquito plants and citronella grass/lemongrass grass planted in your garden are all reported to repel these flying menaces, and can all be nice aesthetic additions to your garden . . .

Beyond these remedies, there are a number of natural and non-toxic topically applied mosquito repellants that work as well or better than the questionable DEET products sold over the counter. These include Neem Oil, Soy Oil, Citronella Oil, Lemon, Eucalyptus Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Castor Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Cedar Oil, Peppermint Oil, Clove Oil, Geranium Oil and Oils from Verbena, Pennyroyal, Lavender, Pine, Cajeput, Basil, Thyme, Allspice, Soybean, and Garlic. Some of these have proven as much as twice as effective as DEET based products, and without the risks. DEET has been especially called into question when it comes to its use on or near children, so do please consider its use especially when preparing your kids for time in the outdoors. Planting these in your garden will also likely keep away those biting aerial attacks.

1 comment:

James said...

Nice post, wonderful pictures. I am in total agreement about the types of controls needed. There is an interesting post on http://bugsandweeds.com/information at this time dealing with mosquito prevention as opposed to chemical controls.