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Don't Bug Out! Safeguarding Fauna In Your Yard
By Marcee Silver
Posted: 2024-05-01T01:07:00Z

Want to know one simple thing YOU can DO to benefit our natural world?


Use animal-friendly methods to keep mosquitos under control. Mosquitos carry disease, so we don’t want them to proliferate, but it’s important to use methods that don’t harm other critters.


The first thing you can do is to stop growing mosquitoes. Dump standing water that collects in manmade breeding spots such as tarps, kids’ toys, and plant saucers. Clean your gutters. Sweep rain puddles off your driveway. Don’t over-irrigate your lawn. Replace the water in pet bowls daily. Add a larvicide, such as Mosquito Dunks, to birdbaths, water features, and home-made mosquito larva traps.


Avoid mosquito-control companies, whose neurotoxin pesticide sprays kill fireflies, butterflies, caterpillars, and bees, as well as mosquito predators such as dragonflies (dragonflies eat a hundred or more mosquitos a day!). Doesn’t sound good for the natural world, does it?


If you must hire a mosquito-control company, ask them to minimize negative impacts by not spraying flowering plants, not spraying after 10:00 a.m. (to reduce bee kill), and not spraying when it’s windy (lessening the chance that poison from your yard will drift to your neighbors). Some companies offer a targeted approach, only spraying areas that you use regularly and installing a homeowner-controlled activation feature that you turn on when you’re spending time outside.


And since you'll never completely get rid of mosquitoes, protect yourself from the ones that remain by wearing protective clothing and using oscillating fans in outdoor sitting areas.


By being both proactive and environmentally responsible about mosquito control, you can make your own life more comfortable while also protecting the many friendly species living all around you.

Here are some further ideas:

Drill holes in the bottom of your recycling bucket or anything similar that collects water.

Put a screen over your rain barrel.

Use an organic spray (it still kills everything but doesn’t persist as long in the environment)

Put up a bat box on a pole (talk about mosquito eating machines!)

Remove English Ivy in your yard, the perfect breeding ground for Asian Tiger Mosquitos (and an

invasive plant in the U.S.)

Put up a Purple Martin House if you have a wide open sunny spot. They’ve flown here from

South America and they are hungry from their long flight. Their babies will also be hungry.

Buy light-colored outdoor clothing; mosquitos are attracted to dark colors.

Click here for more info on setting up a mosquito trap bucket from the Audubon Society:

Would you like to join the League of Women Voters of Wake County's Environment Committee? Environmental protections create healthy communities that can participate in Democracy, which keeps our politicians accountable for the environment, and protects our community and planet from environmental degradation. A healthy environment impacts our economy and prosperity. Join our Environment Committee in protecting both democracy and the earth. Members explore issues related to animal and plant health, water quality, sustainability, transit, and open space. Visit our website, or contact for information.