Pesky Flying Insects

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Insect Control: Shoo Fly!

I need a sure way to get rid of pesky insects, especially mosquitoes, for outside entertaining. We will be having our annual family reunion. We have evenings of getting together, but the bugs want to share in our togetherness. We live in the south and there are lots of unwanted pests here. Thanks.

Insect Control: A Fan May Help

I don't know how many people you have coming, or if you have power outside, but we have found that when our family sits out in the evenings on the porch in Arkansas, a box fan blows all such away. We put it on one end of the porch and it blows past us, on the low setting. It also helps stir the air, which is often very still and muggy in the summer.

Insect Control: Citronella is Helpful

A suggestion to your pest problems while entertaining would be to buy citronella candles and light them while outside. If children are present, it would be necessary to put them up on a pillar, plant stand, or higher than a child's reach since there will be an open flame.

Otherwise, you can get big (5" diameter) sized candles and place them on the deck floor or ground, several feet away from the sitting area or traffic. Depending on the size of the area to be occupied, you may need more than one candle. If you use commercial sprays, lightly spray the grass or deck 'walls' to deter the insects.

Insect Control: Bats and Blue Martins

I have found a cheap, extremely inexpensive, and environmentally sound way to reduce the number of mosquitoes that invade our backyard outings.

First, remove all standing water. If you have plants that you water often, make sure they have proper drainage. Buckets of water or other devices that are able to hold water are great breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Second, citronella plants are effective up to about 10 feet from the plant. Place a few of the large foliage plants around the area in which you spend the most time.

Third, Purple Martins are not only a beautiful bird with a wonderful voice; they are a mosquito's archenemy. Place a birdhouse specifically designed for martins in your yard. You will need a long pole on which to set the house, as well as a generous opening in your yard to act as a long runway for the birds to coast into their new habitat.

Lastly, with a little internet surfing, you will find a few simple designs for a bat house. It resembles a birdhouse but no hole in the side, just a box with an open bottom. Place the bat house on the west side of a tree approximately 6-10 feet off the ground. Bats are known to eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes an hour. As they are feared by most people bats often get a bad rap because of media portrayal. There are no known poisonous bats in North America, as no venomous bats adapt well to changing cold climates. These friendly little characters are fun to watch and make a great conversation piece for your backyard outings.

Insect Control: Bats Work Free

To rid your area of mosquitoes and other nighttime pests, simply contact Bat Conservation International in Austin, TX and get the plans on building a bat house or even purchase from them a pre-built bat house. They can tell you what color to paint it and even the best place to locate it. A colony of bats in your neighborhood can eat up to 600pounds of mosquitoes every night. You can even join the research team and record the type of bats moving into your house and if you get really excited about the prospect, you can add more bat houses and try to attract a maternity colony in your garden.

Incidentally, bat guano is the best fertilizer you can buy. Some places will charge you $50 for a five-pound bag. Try bats. Once you get to love them, you will love what they can do for you with no charge.

Insect Control: Skin-So-Soft Nice Repellent

Skin-So-Soft from Avon is a good bug-repellent. I live in Alabama and the bugs love my son. SSS, as it is called, keeps them off! It has no pesticides and the smell is not too bad. Perhaps an investment in a couple of bottles of this would work for your reunion for many of the guests anyway.

Insect Control: Yard Guard Keeps Pests Away

Go to your local hardware or lawn supply store and invest in about two cans of "Yard Guard". Made by Raid, it is the strongest and longest lasting flying insect killer I have found and I live in the mid-south. The can itself will spray up to 20 feet, and lasts up to six hours. Cover your whole yard at least 1/2 hour before the party to allow the insecticide smell to dissipate, and you will be happy as clams and bug free. Say goodbye to your Citronella!
I hope this is of some help to you. We here in Memphis suffer along with the best of them when it comes to mosquito season.

Insect Control: High Frequency Sounds

I recently moved to Tallahassee, Florida where the mosquitoes are unbelievable! Although my husband does not attract these pests, my toddler and I seem to be "mosquito magnets." After searching every store (hardware stores, department stores, and discount stores) in town, I found Coleman Mosquito Repellers. I bought a little one for about $6.00 at Eckerd Drugs.

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It comes with a clip to hook onto your belt loop. It emits a high, but only audible if you put it to your ear, pitch that repels mosquitoes. They sell larger units at Wal-Mart (roughly $9.00) that repel mosquitoes up to 250 feet. Unfortunately, it does make a somewhat louder noise, but not too annoying.

I like to keep mine by the garage door to prevent pesky critters from flying into my kitchen at night. They do seem to work, as we haven't been bitten since we started using them. The only thing that could make them better is if you could plug them into your wall instead of buying batteries.

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