There are a number of insecticidal products and materials that can be used alone or in combination to control mosquitoes. Some of these control methods can be directed toward mosquito larvae and others deal only with adults.
Killing The Mosquito Larvae
Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in any standing water, whether it be an acre of swamp or some water sitting inside an abandoned tire or an unattended bird bath. So after you have stalked your yard and eliminated all these “incidental” water sources, you still may need to deal with the fact you have a small pond, a swimming pool, or a water garden of some sort. There is a variation of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis called “B.t.i” that is effective in killing mosquito larvae when it is still in water. For ponds you will need to go to your local pond supply store for the liquid version of this product. However, if you have a swimming pool or a water garden, then B.t.i. is available in the form of small gray doughnut looking briquettes that float in the water and release the bacteria that will kill the larvae. Go to Yardener’s Tool Shed for Information about Bacillus thuringiensis For Mosquitoes
Killing Adult Mosquitoes
Broadcast Spray With Natural Insecticides With Caution
Most natural insecticides will kill mosquitoes on contact. However, we recommend only using those products with the active ingredient being garlic. Neem and pyrethrum based products will kill mosquitoes all right but they will cause too much damage to the beneficial insect population as you attack your pest mosquitoes. Even garlic based insecticides should be used with caution because they will kill many insects on contact. Instead of spraying the entire yard, we suggest you just spray the area where you will be holding the party or where you will be sitting on the patio or deck. A significant benefit of garlic products is that they not only kill mosquitoes on contact, they will repel mosquitoes for the area for a week or two. To find these garlic based products go to the files Natural Insecticides and Natural Repellents.
Do Not Broadcast Spray With Synthetic Insecticides
For short-term adult mosquito control, many references recommend you apply a broad spectrum insecticide such as Sevin, Dursban, malathion or resmethrin to all the shrubbery and other dense, low-growing vegetation on your property. This is a terrible way to manage a healthy home landscape. While such an approach provides temporary relief for maybe a few days, you will have wiped out a major portion of the beneficial insects on your property. You will have given all the other pest insects permission to come into your yard with less chance of being controlled by beneficial insects such as spiders and ants. This is not a smart thing to do.
Do Not Use Foggers
Yard foggers typically contain pyrethrins which are considered safe and effective in most home landscape applications. They can be set off shortly before outside activity and will provide temporary relief from mosquitoes. There is a downside however. That same fog can kill most of the beneficial insects such as ants, spiders, and beetles in that same area. Consequently we do not recommend the use of foggers.