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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Thursday April 27, 2006
11:46 AM


[ #29462 ]

Does anyone have any experience here with taking care of a severe mosquito problem? The house we moved into has about 20 cedars in the back yard, and the mosquitos and midges have completely taken over, especially in the evenings (which is the only time I really want to sit out!).

Some potential options:

- Mosquito Barrier - kills the mosquitos and eggs using garlic juice (!). You spray it on the trees and grass.
- Something more poisonous - probably requires calling in a company to take care of it.
- A mosquito magnet (or similar device) - these attract the mosquitos using CO2 and trap them. Apparently these devices are VERY unreliable, which isn't good news for me as I don't tend to take care of things very well.
- Deet and Citronella - this was last year's solution, but I still got bitten to shreds.

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  • You could try building a bat house. []
  • The only proven way of reducing the size of a mosquito population is (a) killing the unborn, and (b) killing the born. It's why the Americans succeeded in building the Panama Canal (and why the French failed).

    The best way of killing the unborn is to either drain the area and completely remove all standing water, or spray larvacide in any standing water that you can't remove. Given your description, larvacide may be your best strategy. Fortunately, an organism like BTI [] is lethal to the larvae, but safe on
    • That's the thing - we don't have ANY standing water. We do live close to a sewage works though - but I heard that mosquitos don't fly further than 400 yards from where they were born which would rule that out as the birthing grounds. We do have a deck, and I hear they breed under them.

      Part of the problem is we had such a mild winter and early spring that none of the garden centres have mosquito stuff in stock yet. Yet we're infested. You can literally see clouds of them out back just looking out the window
      • If they're swarming like that in the open, maybe a flame thrower would help?

        Seriously though, if they're that bad in April, then bats may be one of the best things to look into. Pesticide can kill only so many before they develop a resistance, if you can't kill them all. But it's much more difficult to develop a resistance to a voracious predator. :-)

        The problem may not be the sewage works, but the sewers. In the summer, most municipalities in the US where West Nile is present have mosquito control progr
      • I hung out with the mosquito researchers when I was in grad school (and they fed their subjects with their own arms!).

        When they went to collect mosquitos, they looked for tires. The mosquitos only need a couple of inches of water to breed in, so that can collect just about anywhere, and a lot of places people don't expect.
  • Hi Matt: As a life-long resident, you will find mosquitos are attracted to some individuals more than others. I'm assume, they find you "desirable". You will want to avoid any shady, tree-lined areas. Unfortunately, all the positives of having shade in your backyard are negatives. There is no magic solution. These are some things to help cope: - Wear long sleeves, pants instead of shorts, socks instead of sandles. Mosquitos do not usually bite through clothing. - Buy one of those closed in screen