Controlling Mosquitoes – Environment

Controlling Mosquitoes

Some mosquito problems can’t easily be controlled by eliminating breeding sites alone. Select one of the control options to learn more about how to fight mosquitoes on your own terms.

Environment (or Protecting the good guys)

Spraying your backyard for mosquitoes doesn’t come without a cost. Many mosquito insecticides are toxic to beneficial insects such as bees, predatory insects and butterflies that we want in our garden. Even insecticides that claim to be “all natural” and “safe” usually have some toxicity to good insects.

So can we control mosquitoes without killing the good insects we want? Maybe. By applying insecticides in the evening and at night, we can protect bees and other daytime insects from sprays. Don’t spray on windy days. Using products like plant oils or insecticides with short residual life will reduce the risk to beneficial insects, and encourage beneficials to return quickly after a spray.

Longer lasting insecticides, like many of the pyrethroids, likely will affect some beneficials; but by spraying only plants that are not in bloom and non-plant surfaces, you can still suppress mosquitoes while protecting the insects you want. Remember to avoid blooming plants when spraying, and follow all label directions carefully. Chances are good you will still see plenty of healthy insect activity in your garden after treatment.