How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally

Mosquitoes are annoying, but you know what else is annoying? Most of the advice on how to get rid of them. Do a quick web search for “get rid of mosquitoes” and you’ll get two basic pieces of advice:

A. Dump any standing water on your property.

B. Spend a bunch of money spraying your yard with chemicals. Then, repeat the process every two weeks.

That first piece of advice isn’t bad, but that second piece of advice is just plain rotten, in my opinion. I’m not comfortable with the idea of spraying chemicals around my family, and I don’t like broad spectrum insecticides, either. Will they kill the mosquitoes? Sure. But they’ll also kill a lot of beneficial bugs, too. Maybe even some that were eating my mosquitoes.

So what are you supposed to do when dumping your standing water isn’t enough action and spraying your yard with chemicals feels like too much action? You turn to nature for the solution.

And nature is all about balance. If mosquitoes are a problem in your yard, it’s because there aren’t enough predators to keep the population in check. Introduce those predators, and over time, the problem will take care of itself.

So, am I suggesting that you unleash a bunch of scary beasts in your backyard? Not at all. In fact, let me show you what I’ve done to solve the mosquito problem in my own backyard:

Foraging Chickens

We got chickens. Chickens love to eat all sorts of bugs, including mosquitoes. We give them time out of their coop each day to forage, and we get rewarded with fewer pest problems. If a mosquito happens to land on one of us while holding one of our hens, she’ll eat it right off of our arm. Sure beats DEET. Find out more about keeping chickens.

Toad in Bird Bath

We got toads. Toads eat mosquitoes, slugs and other garden pests, so we’ve introduced several into our garden. They’re fairly easy to attract, but you can also buy toads, if you prefer to go that route. Read more about toads.

Bat House

We installed a bat house. Bats eat mosquitoes, beetles, moths and other nuisances bugs. We already have bats in our neighborhood, so we installed a bat house to attract them to our yard. I hope to get a second bat house up soon. Get my instructions for a bat house.

Bird Bath

We’re working to attract dragonflies. Dragonflies are beautiful, and they love to munch on mosquitoes. We don’t have a pond or a large water source to attract them, but we’re doing what we can. So far, we’ve set up a small fountain and several bird baths around our yard to give them a place to lay larvae and hang out. It seems to be working because I recently spotted a dragonfly on my office window. I know having standing water around your yard runs counter to most people’s advice for getting rid of mosquitoes, but it’s okay as long as you have something eating the mosquito larvae. In our case, both the dragonflies and toads are serving this purpose.

Koi Pond

We hope to add a Koi pond someday. A pond full of hungry fish will gobble up your mosquito larvae, while adding a cool feature to your yard. This is on my definite must-do list.

So, Is My Yard Mosquito-Free Now?

No, but it’s much better than it used to be. We can go outside without getting chewed up, and it’s a lot of fun to watch the chickens, toads, bats and dragonflies in action.

Do I Still Use Bug Repellent?

Sometimes. I haven’t really needed it lately, but if I notice mosquitoes, I’ll run back in for one of my homemade bug repellent sticks. It doesn’t have any of the junk that you’d find in store-bought repellents, so I feel good about using it (and letting my kids use it). If you want to experiment, I also have an all-natural bug repellent bar and a bug repellent spray recipe.

Your Mileage May Vary: While this method of mosquito control works well for me (and my small suburban lot in the south), it may not work as well for you. Customize your mosquito plan to meet your own needs.

Coupons for Real Food

Coupons for Real Food

People say you can only find coupons for processed foods, but that just isn’t true. Check out this list of coupons for real foods and real ingredients, and see for yourself:

Coupons.com

Hopster

  • $1 off any Once Again Nut Butter product
  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural Disney Fruit Crisps, 5-packs
  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural Freeze-Dried Fruit Crisps, 6-packs
  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural Freeze-Dried Fruit Crisps, 1 oz. resealable bags

SavingStar

SmartSource

  • $1 off any Olivari Olive Oil
  • $.55 off any Florida Crystals Natural or Organic Sugar product
  • $.55 off one C&H Flip-top Sugar Canister (Quick Dissolve or Pourable Brown)
  • $.55 off one Domino Flip-top Sugar Canister (Quick Dissolve or Pourable Brown)
  • $.55 off one Sargento Natural Cheese Slices
  • $1 off one jar of Star Olives, 7 oz. or larger
  • $1 off Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Sugar, Stevia, Agave or Honey
  • $1 off three Dole canned fruits

Redplum

  • $1.50 off one Tate + Lyle Fairtrade Certified Sugar product

Common Kindness

  • $1 off Alter Eco Unrefined Mascabado Cane Sugar
  • $1 off Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice
  • $.75 off any Clover Stornetta Farms product
  • $.75 off any Country Choice organic canister oats
  • $1 off any one Star Olive Oil, 7.2 oz. or larger
  • $.50 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 12 oz. juice
  • $.75 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 59 oz. juice
  • $1 off any Woodstock Frozen Fruit or Veggies
  • $1 off any Woodstock Organic or Natural Nut Butters

PorkBeInspired.com

  • Click “Sign Up Now.” Register for a free account, and print a coupon for $1 off any fresh pork product

Like this list? I’ll be updating it weekly, so be sure to check back.

 

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

Yesterday, I bought 86 ears of corn, and when you have that much corn on your hands, you start to look for a few shortcuts. So, I decided to pull out a couple of my crockpots to see if I could successfully cook corn on the cob that way. I tested two different methods, and one of them was a winner. Here’s how I recommend doing it. [Read more...]

How to Dry Tomatoes in a Dehydrator

How to Dry Tomatoes in a Dehydrators

Living in the South, sun-dried tomatoes aren’t much of an option for me. It’s just too humid outside for tomatoes to dry out properly. But that’s okay because I can make the same thing in my dehydrator. I made my first batch of the season yesterday, and thought I’d take you through the process. [Read more...]

Vegetable Blanching Times Chart

Vegetable Blanching Times Chart

Freezing vegetables while they’re in season is a smart move that can save you a ton of money. And it happens to be really easy, too. Just chop your vegetables into whatever size you want; blanch them to preserve their quality; then, cool them off in an ice water bath, and pop them in the freezer.

Not sure what blanching is? While it sounds really fancy and complicated, it’s nothing more than submerging vegetables in boiling water to stop the enzyme processes that cause them to go bad. Different vegetables have different blanching times, so I put together a chart to help you keep them all straight. I plan to stick mine on the side of the fridge for easy reference. And this time of year, I’ll be looking at it A LOT.

Want to add a copy of my vegetable blanching chart to your fridge or recipe book? Get it here.

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