It may be tempting to buy retail fogging sprays or hire a residential pesticide service at first sight of a mosquito or tick, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t. Pollinators are active from dawn to dusk. Sprayed pesticides, whether chemical or organic, will kill most pollinators and other beneficial insects upon contact.
Most residential pesticide services operate during typical business hours, applying sprays in the daylight when insects are most vulnerable. Compounding matters, the common practice of broadly applying pesticides to lawns, shrubs, and yard perimeters indiscriminately kills all insects, not only the intended targets.
Take a preemptive approach to controlling mosquitoes. Empty containers of standing water regularly to eliminate mosquitoes at the larval stage. Adult mosquitoes are weak flyers; use outdoor fans to help keep them away.
Lemongrass, lemon balm, lavender, lantana, and catnip are examples of plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. Use fragrant plants like these in your patio containers and place nearby seating areas. Invest in citronella candles, a mainstay of New England summers. Dress properly and apply insect repellent to yourself and your pets.
Natural predators like Eastern Phoebes, sparrows, swallows, and bats will benefit from a healthy diet of insects and help control mosquito populations in the absence of pesticides. Let nature play its part to control mosquitoes.