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Summer is the time of year for hosting enjoyable and relaxing occasions in the garden. However it is also the season where mosquitoes are at their most active.
These flying insects are extremely widespread and common in most environments. They are well known for their bites which can be extremely irritable and agitating. When mosquitoes bite they release chemicals into your blood making it viscus and easier to extract.
Mosquitoes penetrate your skin with very thin, needle like, mouthparts or (stylets). These are so thin you rarely feel them bite which gives you a false sense of security outside.
Fortunately in modern times malaria is less of a problem than what it was in the past. However the fact that mosquitoes inject you with their own biological fluids is a revolting thought.
If you regularly experience mosquitoes in your garden it can be an ongoing inconvenience. Thankfully there is a whole range of steps you can take to get rid of mosquitoes outside naturally.
From simple scented candles to larger landscaping alterations we have listed the main mosquito solutions here.
Why do I have swarms of mosquitoes in my back garden?
You have swarms of mosquitoes in your garden because you have an environment which is suitable for them. Your locality probably provides the three basic elements mosquitoes need to thrive. These are food, water and shelter.
Mosquitoes require standing water to complete their lifecycles and reproduce.
However this does not necessarily mean you need a pond for them to breed. These insects have the ability to lay eggs, hatch larvae and develop into adults even in transitory puddles.
This rapid development has allowed them to spread so successfully around the globe. If you have swarms of mosquitoes in your garden you probably have standing water nearby.
Mosquitoes feed on the blood of people and larger animals. They are attracted to the airborne traces of carbon dioxide we breathe. Hence it may be the case that you have abundant wild mammals, livestock or people nearby.
Mosquitoes love sheltered environments with little wind, dense cover and shade. During the day they choose to rest out of direct sunlight in calm and hidden places. The more dense vegetation and shelter you have the more secure mosquitoes will feel.
What are mosquitoes attracted to?
Mosquitoes are attracted to sheltered, shady and damp environments with plenty of potential hosts. They are attracted to the CO2, body heat, perspiration and body odour of mammals.
As mosquitoes generally do not like bright colours they are more attracted to dark clothing.
Do I have to get rid of my pond to get rid of mosquitoes?
The perfect scenario for getting rid of mosquitoes is to have no standing water at all. However it’s actually better to have a pond with some ecology than a bucket that fills with rainwater. Both fish and wildlife ponds have enough aquatic predators to feed on mosquito larvae.
This keeps their numbers low preventing many developing to adulthood. However for this to be so you must clean out your pond regularly.
Dense mats of aquatic plants and roots will provide more places for larvae to hide from predation. Adult mosquitoes prefer to inhabit dense vegetation near or around ponds so clearing this will help.
You do not need to remove your pond to get rid of mosquitoes but you must keep it well maintained with no dense vegetation and a healthily balance of natural predators.
Are mosquitoes and gnats the same?
Gnats and mosquitoes are commonly identified as the same creature but they are actually different. The main difference is mosquitoes have long biting tubes to suck blood while Gnats do not. Gnats prefer to bite the skins surface to draw blood and drink.
17. Ways to get rid of mosquitoes from your garden naturally
Although mosquitoes are generally loathed by everyone who encounters them many wish to eradicate them without chemicals.
It is becoming broadly accepted that chemicals indiscriminately kill other organisms and poison the environment. Therefore it is much more desired to get rid of mosquitoes naturally without destroying the environment.
Consequently we have listed here 17 ways to get rid of mosquitoes from your garden naturally.
Citronella is an essential oil fragrance derived mainly from the lemongrass plant. Its fragrance is highly regarded for its ability to repel biting insects. Citronella is well known to repel mosquitoes effectively by burning Citronella candles and incense diffusers emitting its scent.
2. Create natural mosquito repellent
Mosquitoes dislike any scents which are lemony or smell of cloves. You can make a repellent spray by blitzing up lemons and cloves in a blender. The pulp can then be sieved well and mixed with water to create a repellent spray. This can be applied to walls and surfaces around outdoor seating areas.
3. Soapy water spray
Mosquitoes can sometimes be seen flying around seating areas and in swarming groups. For a manual removal process you can spray them with soapy water. This makes their wings heavy and sticky forcing them to drop to the floor. They can then be removed or dispatched straight away.
4. Bug racket zappers
These contraptions look very much like tennis rackets! They have an electrical current which flows through the wire head. When these make contact with a mosquito they electrocute it and kill it instantly. At the point of contact there is a spark and a loud crack which is quite satisfying. This Mosquito swatter is available on Amazon here.
5. Mosquito lamps
Mosquito lamps work in a very similar way to bug zappers but in a more static manor. The light and heat of the lamp attracts mosquitoes towards the light.
As they fly past the wire guard they are electrocuted by an electrical current. These lamps can look quite attractive in the evening and also make a satisfying cracking sound.
6. Mosquito traps
Mosquito traps can take a few forms but generally involve attracting them into liquid where they drown. There are a few different varieties of these on the market but all are very effective.
7. Grow mosquito repelling plants
Mosquitoes like other biting insets do not like aromas from pungent smelling plants. Traditional herbs such as Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, Lemon balm and Mint are all good examples of these. Perhaps you want to create a herb garden next to where you sit out in the evening?
8. Clear out as much dense vegetation as possible
Mosquitoes love environments full of secluded thickets and dense vegetation. One of the best ways to start your campaign against them is to clear up these areas. Thin out large shrubs and cut down overhanging branches.
9. Remove mess and clutter from gardens
Mess and clutter around your property can not only provide hiding places for mosquitoes they can also collect rain water.
These puddles provide the perfect opportunity for mosquitoes to breed quickly unhindered by aquatic predators. Therefore it is important to remove all unnecessary mess and clutter from your garden.
10. Keep gardens well maintained
When gardens are not maintained at a regular frequency they have more chance of harbouring pests. This could not be more relevant when dealing with mosquitoes. If you want to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden make sure it is maintained frequently.
11. Encourage bats
Bats are some of the best predators to encourage if you want to keep mosquitoes under control. These amazing flying mammals can snatch biting insects in mid air! If you want to encourage bats to your garden consider installing bat boxes.
12. Encourage birds
Birds like bats are capable of consuming vast quantities of flying insects around the home. There has been a dramatic decline in bird numbers across the board in recent years.
In order to attract them to your garden, install roosting boxes and bird baths. The more resident birds you have the less mosquitoes you will have.
13. Improve drainage in your garden
If there is one thing mosquitoes love it is damp and boggy environments. Gardens with waterlogged ground and standing water when it rains can attract mosquitoes. If you have such problems with your garden install a drainage system to combat the issue. To improve drainage in your garden read our article on diagnosing and resolving garden drainage problems.
14. Get rid of vessels of standing water
Any vessel holding standing water intentionally or not will encourage mosquitoes. If you have a water butt, make sure it is sealed to prevent mosquitoes laying their eggs inside. If you have garden objects which hold standing water make sure they are covered or removed.
15. Make sure ponds are cleared out regularly
Ponds should not be allowed to get too overgrown with wetland plants. Whether the pond is intended for wildlife or not, make sure predators can get to mosquito larvae. This means clearing out dense mats of pond weed which form shallow subdivisions.
16. Add fish to your pond
Gardens with fish ponds rarely have any problems with mosquitoes at all. This is because fish are active predators which love to devour mosquito larvae. Especially if your pond is for decorative purposes consider introducing fish to eat both eggs and larvae.
17. Encourage a balanced pond ecosystem
If you have a garden pond try and make it as ecologically balanced as possible. The best way to do this is to plant as many species of native plants as possible.
This will create multiple habitats which will encourage bio diverse ecosystems. These will ensure a healthy population of aquatic predators which will consume mosquito larvae.
Why not read our article on the best plants for a wildlife pond here.
Landscaping Mosquitoes love
The very best strategy to get rid of mosquitoes outside is to make conditions less favourable for them. By planning at a landscape level you can focus on garden landscaping that will be detrimental to mosquitos lifecycles.
In order to do this you will need to know what landscaping mosquitoes find favourable. Below we have listed some garden environments mosquitoes love.
Meadows and overgrown lawns
Ponds and bog gardens
Poorly drained gardens
Trees with dense vegetation
Heavily shaded gardens
Landscaping mosquitoes hate
Just as being aware of what mosquitoes like it is also important to consider what they dislike. Knowing what landscaping mosquitoes hate will enable you to plan your garden to repel them. Below we have listed some typical scenarios mosquitoes hate in garden environments.
Non absorbent or sealed masonry materials
Brightly coloured surfaces
Minimalist or modern landscaping
Thank you for reading our article on how to get rid of mosquitoes from your garden. If you found it useful please feel free to comment or share via the tabs below. This really helps us to keep writing useful content in the future.
Planning on landscaping your garden to make it less mosquito friendly? Why not check out our recommended landscaping tools and recourses page here.
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