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.

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...]

How to Dry Herbs in a Dehydrator

Buying herbs always leaves me with sticker shock, so I try to grow as many of my own as I can. This time of year we pick herbs as we need them …

Basil Plant

A few basil leaves for tomato sauce …

Fresh Dill

A big handful of dill for our salad dressing …

Sage Plant

A couple sage leaves to season a chicken or turkey …

Fresh Oregano

It’s a wonderful way to eat, but it’s not something that we can do during the winter months. So, I also dry our herbs. The process couldn’t be easier. [Read more...]

We Have Toads!

Toads

Saturday, our farmer friends brought us five toads, and we released them into our garden. They’re our latest in a long line of organic pest control measures.

Toads eat slugs, grubs, mosquitoes, flies and all sorts of other insects. I’m hoping they’ll help us with our mosquito problem.

Toad in Bird Bath

We set up a bird bath top under the condensation drain for our HVAC system, and released a couple over there.

Toad in Fountain

Then, we released the rest over next to our fountain.

Toad House

To create a shelter for them, we turned a couple flower pots on their side, buried the bottom portion in the ground, and then added a layer of leaves to the inside. The perfect little toad houses.

Hopefully they’ll decide to stick around and make our garden their home.

See Also:

Berry Cobbler in a Jar

Berry Cobbler in a Jar

Whenever I need help picking berries, I promise to make cobbler afterwards. That always gets me plenty of volunteers. I used that trick earlier this week when I wanted help picking mulberries. But instead of making my normal cobbler, I decided to try something different: I made little, individual cobblers in half-pint jars. It’s something I’d been meaning to try for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I spent some time trying to figure out how to pack all of the things that I love about cobbler into tiny jars. Then, I headed to the kitchen for a test run. And? My culinary experiment was a definite success. The berry filling was thick, not soupy. The buttermilk biscuit tops were cooked to perfection, with none of that doughy underside that you sometimes end up with. And the cobbler didn’t overflow the jars, either. Woo hoo! I love it when things come out right the first time.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I bake, I like to bake BIG, so I can enjoy tasty things for several days. And so, this recipe makes 12 servings. That’s three day’s worth of desserts for my family of four, or enough for a party.

Since these cobblers are in jars, they’re easy to transport, too. Just screw the lid on, and you can throw them in a lunchbox or take them on a picnic. And if you make them in freezer jars, you could even toss them in the freezer, and pull a couple out whenever your sweet tooth strikes.

Ready to give my recipe a whirl? Here it is. [Read more...]