This past summer I wrote a piece about alternatives to spraying for controlling mosquitos. I wrote about a number of alternatives that I was going to try out.
I removed standing water. I went through and found a few places collecting water and eliminated them. The rain barrel has a mesh that seems to work well at keeping mosquitos out of it. We added a small solar fountain to our bird bath. This has been fantastic. Not only is the water less stagnant, but it has attracted more birds than before. Watching a bird land on the fountain’s solar panel and surf around the bird bath is hilarious to watch.
We also purchased a commercial mosquito trap. There’s no doubt this works. After a few weeks the sticky sheet that comes with it is covered in mosquitos, but importantly, not other insects like bees. So, while expensive, it clearly does as advertised.
I also set up a bucket with leaves and water and put a mosquito dunk in it. The dunks do last as long as advertised – several weeks. They dissolve very slowly. However, I think there’s probably enough mosquito breeding areas in the vicinity, this one trap did not seem to attract significant business. Perhaps it needed a better location.
The last trap I made was a home made one similar to this one. This one did not seem to work. There was nothing in it when I emptied it at the end of the summer and keeping it wet was problematic. The sock absorbed the water and allowed it to dry out much faster than the bucket. Even during this dry summer, the bucket was easily kept full by only adding water occasionally.
Overall, these efforts did reduce the number of mosquito bites we got this summer. Removing the sources of standing water and the commercial traps seemed the most effective, but the water pumps and dunks also seem effective for the standing water that you might have in your yard.