Aug 08, 2014 - Suzanne
Vampire movies are big right now, but most people don’t want their blood sucked by mosquitoes. They don’t want flies biting them, either, or landing on platters of food.
Get rid of those pesky insects, without spraying clouds of toxic chemicals all over your yard.
INTERRUPTING THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE MOSQUITO:
In the warm water of summer, a mosquito can run through its life cycle in one week. So go dump any standing water (home to mosquito eggs, larvae and pupas) right now. We’ll wait.
* If you have standing water you don’t want to drain (bird baths and ponds) you should add a “donut” that contains the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) which kills mosquitoes but does not harm other insects or animals.
* You can eradicate breeding areas with these two techniques, but what about mosquitoes that fly in from other yards? A mosquito can fly several miles. Foil them with a garlicky spray, Mosquito Barrier. The garlic smell will go away quickly, but the sulfur will remain and it’s toxic to mosquitoes. Spray Mosquito Barrier all over your lawn and shrubs—even your vegetables, they won’t pick up a garlic flavor. It keeps ticks and fleas away too, according to the label.
* Put up a Vacancy sign at your new Bat House and add some mosquito-eating wildlife to your garden. Bats can eat millions of mosquitoes in the summertime!
WHAT ABOUT THOSE FLIES?
When it comes to controlling flies you want to be sure to control both life stages – the larva or maggot and the adult. To control the larva stage you can use fly parasites which parasitize and kill the larva of many different fly species. The parasites can be released every one to four weeks during warm weather through October.
To control the adult, traps are the the way to go. The Wooden Fly Trap is very effective at attracting and catching the adult. The bait, a mixture of ammonium carbonate and yeast, is mixed with water and placed under the trap in full sun. The bait becomes very smelly, attracting the flies, which in turn fly up and get caught inside the fly trap. In the video, Organic Mosquito Control & Fly Traps, Tricia explains step-by-step on how to use the trap.
Another trap which uses the “stinky” bait is the Flies Be Gone trap. Simply put the bait in the bag, fill with water and hang in full sun away from your outdoor sitting area. The old-fashioned sticky strips work well hanging where flies are found.
Organic gardeners love natural predators—for flies those would be Praying Mantids and parasitic mini-wasps aka Fly Parasite Complex. The mini-wasps will be busy with the flies and uninterested in vertebrates.
GOOD WASP, BAD WASP
In the video How To Get Rid of Wasps, Tricia discusses several methods to control wasps around your house. The Glass Wasp Trap with Lure is a beautiful and functional trap for catching those pesky wasps that invade your summer picnic.
Imagine—a summer free of mosquitoes and flies. See the products in action in our videos about Pesky Insects and Organic Mosquito Control.
Wishing you a summer where you never hear that eeeee mosquito sound in your ear or getting pestered during a BBQ!
The University of California Integrated Pest Management site has a Pest Note with more information about mosquitoes as disease vectors.
Curious about predatory beneficial insects? They starred in their own video with Tricia.
August 5, 2014 - Meredith Cherry
A wilting squash does not always need watered!
The dog days of summer are upon us! The mercury is climbing, and the veggies are drooping. But don’t get out that watering can just yet! As tempting as it is to turn on the irrigation, those wilting leaves don’t always mean that the soil is dry. Plants wilt when they feel the need to conserve water. When plants “breathe” they lose water through their leaves in a process called transpiration. When their leaves lose rigidity and hang down, they are reducing their leaves…