Beware breeding mosquitoes in the garden
In warmer climates mosquitoes can be a problem all year round. Other areas can be plagued by mosquitoes as the weather warms. No matter when mosquito season hits your area, it is important to keep the population down since these insects not only make life miserable, but can carry diseases like the West Nile Virus or Encephalitis. They can breed easily in your garden in the left-over rain collected in a bowl or any spot that harbors so much as a puddle.
Mostly everyone can recognize the delicate floating predator that adores dive-bombing us in the middle of the night with that insidious high whining sound. But many people do not recognize the larvae of these obnoxious insects. All too often I have been asked what these fascinating little creatures are wriggling in the pond, birdbath, fountain or bucket of standing water in a garden. “Fascinating” yuck! Mosquitoes deposit oval “rafts” of blackish eggs on the surface of calm water. You can recognize them by their pointed ended oval shapes, usually less than 1/2″ long. These hatch out into tiny swimming nymphs that enlarge as they grow older. The dead giveaway is the way these critters swim. They may hang out in the bottom or the top of the water, but when disturbed, or when they need to surface for air, they have a peculiar wriggling motion which looks like they are inverting themselves back to front, over and over. Mosquito nymphs are very active when disturbed and if you find them in standing water, you will save yourself and your neighbors the misery of the adult insects by simply dumping the water. In this stage, mosquitoes cannot live out of water. So, the simplest way to be rid of these pests is to regularly check places where water is captured after rain or watering. No chemicals needed. If you spy the egg masses floating, just remove these as well. Either way, you will be diminishing the unwelcome population of these bloodsucking (and occasionally disease carrying) insects. No more breeding mosquitoes in the garden. And no loss there!
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