Sunday, July 20, 2014
Last night, I finally figured out one of the “mysteries of life.” I had always wondered why there are one to three mosquitoes flying around inside my car in the morning. They were not in my car when I parked it the night before. My windows are sealed tightly. No holes in the floorboard like my 1972 VW Bug. Drum roll please... The brief minute it takes me to get out of the car, the mosquitoes are going into the car! Light bulb comes on (some people have said my head looks like a light bulb) and I have finally figured it out.
Now it is time to wage war against the mosquito.
First, I'm going to give you a shopping list. Pick up these items then wage war on the mosquitoes and their breeding places in your yard: Liquid Net (the ultimate insect repellent by the Liquid Fence Company), Cyonara Lawn and Garden, Mosquito Repelling Granules, Mosquito Dunks and Altosid Pro G are some of the basic weapons that you will need to wage war against these bloodsuckers.
Apply the Liquid Net to yourself. This product is organic and does an unbelievable job against mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, ticks and other biting insects. Liquid Net is non-greasy, DEET-free and safe for the whole family. It also has a 100 percent guarantee from the manufacturer. Last year, I had one of my customers from Possum's wanting to travel around to the various ball field complexes and sell this stuff because it worked so well, was organic and would not harm her small children. Now you are ready for the yard.
Scout around the yard for anything that holds water. Old tires, saucers under potted plants, birdbaths, old flower containers or pots stacked in a corner, dog toys, kids toys, a container by the grill you use to soak wood chips in, a cooler, an old fountain, a hole in a tree and a dogs water bowl all make great places for mosquitoes to breed. Empty the water out these areas (refill the dog bowl and the birdbath daily). A tarp covering a boat, a few empty bottles or cans can end up being thousands of mosquitoes! Many mosquitoes can breed in just an ounce of water.
If you have bigger areas of water, like a ditch or a low area of the yard that holds water, apply the Mosquito Dunks or the Altosid Pro G. The Mosquito Dunks are an organic Bt product that kill larvae and the Altosid Pro G is a growth-regulator product that contains the same active ingredient that is used in the Precor products for controlling fleas. Although Altosid is not organic, it is considered to be very safe and labeled to be used in very sensitive areas like marshes. Turn off your irrigation when you can and correct any drainage problems.
Any pruning you can do to increase air movement and sunlight penetration will also help. Mosquitoes like moist, stagnant areas. Mosquitoes are very weak fliers, so they do not like wind or air movement (big fans for parties help). Mosquitoes are a public-health issue, so you might be able to get some help from a government agency.
Next, you want to mow your lawn and then spray the lawn, shrubs, trees and mulched areas with Cyonara Lawn and Garden. This product not only kills mosquitoes but also kills chiggers, fleas, ants, ticks, spittlebugs and roaches just to name a few other problem insects out right now.
If you would like to stay organic, apply Mosquito Repelling Granules. Check the weather (I know it is hard to do around here) because this product likes to be dry for 48 hours after application. This organic product really does a great job. It is university tested and has also proven itself in the Lowcountry. Many of our customers at Possum's have reported control for more than three weeks! We sell it to people putting on large fundraisers, other outdoor festivals, sporting events, and individuals, and we always get positive feedback. If you would rather spray, try EcoVia EC. A natural product that works!
If this sounds like too much work, hire a professional. Always read and follow product labels.
Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum's Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum's has three locations: 481 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant (843-971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (843-760-2600), or 606 Dupont Road, in Charleston (843-766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum's location, or visit us at www.possumsupply.com. You can also call in your questions to “The Garden Clinic,” Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). The Horticulture Hotline is available 24/7 at www.possumsupply.com.