Effective ways to get mosquitoes to quit bugging you

mosquito dunks

Buy Mosquito Dunks for standing water you can't eliminate. It will last for 30 days. Find it at home improvement and garden centers.

are a bad choice!

A mosquito that cannot hatch is a mosquito that cannot bite! If you have mosquitoes in your back yard, chances are they are breeding very close to your home! The two most common mosquitoes in Tennessee that carry West Nile virus (Culex pipien and Culex quinquefasciatus) have a flight range of 1/4 to 1/2 mile according to John D. Hopkins of the University of Arkansas. They are usually out at dusk and dawn. The Asian Tiger mosquito bites during the day and usually does not fly over 100 feet from breeding sites.

This a close up of an adult mosquito on a fingertip. They are small.

This is a HARMLESS CRANE FLY. They do not bite.

Many people mistake Crane Flies for a large mosquito. They are about 1 1/2 - 2 inches long with long legs. Unlike mosquitoes, crane flies can not fly well - they wobble. Read about Crane Flies at http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/bimg215.html.


Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard especially in childrens toys, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trash cans, and wheelbarrows. Make sure gutter downspout extenders are lower at the end so they do not hold water. Click here for our back yard check list. (Share this check list with your neighbors!)

Mosquito larvae look like little wiggling worms. They are also sometimes called wigglers. Killing mosquitoes in the larval and pupae stages (see picture below) of their development is much easier than killing adults.

Change the water in kiddie pools, dog bowls and bird baths every other day. You can purchase a product called "The Water Wiggler" (cost $24.95) for your bird bath at The Wood Trush Shop at 6029 Hwy 100 in Belle Meade. It jiggles the water for 2 months on 2 D batteries preventing mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

If you can't get rid of standing water, buy a larvicide called Mosquito Dunks (see photo to the left) or Mosquito Bits at garden centers or home improvement stores (approximate cost is $9.00 for six dunks). Larvicide kills mosquito and fly larvae for 30 days or more and does not harm other living things. Check out BioControl Network, Brentwood, TN at (615) 370-4301 for other non-toxic alternatives.

Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with mosquito-eating fish like Gambusia fish.

Limit time outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Mosquitoes that could carry West Nile virus are out from dusk to dawn.

Purchase a yellow bug light for lights that are near your entry way doors.

If you must be outdoors, WEAR A MOSQUITO REPELLENT. We do NOT recommend using DEET. To find out why read DEET Alert! The CDC has recently approved two products that we feel are safer than DEET picardin (try Cutter Advanced Sport with 15% Picardin) and oil of lemon eucalyptus (try Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellant by Cutter). We also recommend BioUD (in an orange plastic spray bottle) which can be found in the camping department at Wal-Mart or online at http://www.bio-block.us/. These are non-toxic repellents that have done well in tests. If you chose to use DEET, follow the directions carefully and wash it off your skin and clothing when you come in.

Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Pant legs should be tucked into shoes or socks, and collars should be buttoned. Light colored clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes.

Place a fan on your deck or porch. Mosquitoes don't like the breeze!

Make sure all your windows and doors have screens and are in good repair.


Risks: West Nile versus Pesticides
Why other cities have chosen not to spray
Non-toxic, effective ways to get mosquitoes to quit bugging you
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