mosquitoes driving me nutz!!

msjay2u(7)August 22, 2008

Hi all. I have been out of town for the past couple of weeks due to my mother passing away. While I was gone I had a neighbor feeding the goats for me. I had 2 plastic tubs that were on sale after easter that I use for the food and a very large mixing bowl for the water. Before I left I had just gotten this metal tub from home depot to use for the feed. Well when I got back I found my neighbor used the metal tub for the water and the bowl and plastic tub for the food. I thought the metal being used for the water was a great idea since it holds more water.

I did my usual routine of letting the goats out and sitting in the yard while they run around but this time I got about 50 mosquitoe bites!! I thought it was my imagination the 1st day but the second day I could not sit out there for more than 15 minutes because the top of my feet and my arms were on fire because of all the bites.

I have been trying to figure out where in the hell all these mosquitoes are coming from. Ideas:

the grass in the pasture is getting high could it be from here?

the increased amount of water from the metal bucket?

the water in the chicken coop? it is not a lot of water and it is always nasty the next day because SOMEHOW the chickens always manage to poop in it and turn it to sludge.

I could not find any standing water anywhere and the stream is a far way from where I been sitting.

Can mosquitoes be dangerous for the animals?

What is an organic way to get rid of them? I thought about having the whole yard sprayed but then I thought I would kill the mosquitoes and all the animals too.

Any help ideas or suggestions appreciated

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Organic way of killing? HAHAHAHAHA. That cracks me up.

We have tons of mosquitoes where I live. Every entrance to the house has a can of spray next to it. The goats are srayed with fly spray (that is rated for mosquitoes). The birds don't seem to mind them but definately do get bitten. There are flocks near me that has had West Nile Virus found in them.

If your animal water sat stagnent for a couple weeks then yes, you could have raised a crop of skeeters. If the pasture grass is tall, then yes, they are probably living in it.

If I were you, I'd keep skeeter spray nearby. Spray the animals, spray myself, and wait for the cold to kill them offf. If you are really concerned you can cut the pasture grass and either fog or spray. Home Depot sells several products in a bottle that attaches to your hose that you just spray directly onto your lawn (or pasture) that kills them off.

Keep in mind though, that they can fly into your area from up to a mile away and even though you kill them,new crops are hatching daily. Just don't provide them any breeding habitat on your property. That's the best you can do.

Oh, and if you fog, make sure none of your neighbors have bee hives. I would not be a happy camper if someone killed off my hives.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:20PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

BTI is a strain of bacteria that will eat holes in the intestinal lining of mosquito Larvae and kill them if you can find where they are breeding. Moscovy ducks are said to be a wonder at eating down the adults. Purple martins will also help control the problem if you have them in your area and build houses for them. You can also get a propane powered mosquito lure and quickly cut down a thick population.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Ok. There are alternative methods to help control mosquito populations, but we're looking for something that will be effective widely, quickly, and have a perceptable impact on the local population around your house.

Are you going to go around spraying bacteria all over the place if you can even get them? How many purple martins are you going to bring in if you can get them in your area? This would likely be non-effective at this time of year anyway as nesting season is over BTW. I have two pair of muscovys. I can't imagine they're doing a darn bit of perceptable good. As for a propane powered mosquito magnet, someone who is concerned with "organic" killing methods will likely not like the idea of pumping out CO2 to lure in the skeeters. There are serious doubts to how much these help-vs-lure new bugs into the area as well.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic or push chemicals--I'm a wildlife biologist for Pete's sake. I care, I really do. But, the over-hyped "Green", "Organic", or whatever fad method usually does more to make you feel good than to actually solve the problem.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 7:06PM
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So are you saying that those sprays won't hurt the goats? Won't make them sick? When I mentioned organic I just meant something that is not going to kill the goats or chickens. I don;t give a rat's behind about anything else.

No my neighbors don't have bees. Not any they are trying to keep alive anyway.

No purple Martins in the area as far as I know.

Muscovy ducks? I don;t think I can have enough to be effective.

I do not know anything about the bacteria. All I know is that I do need something that will work fast. I am being eaten alive!!

As far as the grass is concerned. 3 weeks ago I decided to skip a weekend on the grass since it had not rained that much. Then as Murphys law goes my mother passed away and I had to go to Fl for 2 weeks. I got back last weekend only to find my grandmother in the hosp. on her last leg. I just have not had the time or energy to get to the grass yet. I do plan to get it cut this weekend though even if I have to pay someone to do it.

If anyone can assure me that those yard fogs won't kill my goats then that is what I'm a gonna do. I hate mosquitoes. I have bites all over me!!

I guess I better think of a way to attract some bats even though I hate them too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:49PM
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step one completed. I got out there today and weed eated most of the culprit grass. I finally figured out why it was so tall in that area. When my chickens were in the basement I was hosing the floor down twice a day and all the feces and such was going out the drain. well the drain from the basement goes out in the pasture right around that area is where the grass is the highest. well I guess it is true that chicken poop is great fertilizer.

okay I am going to go out to Lowes tomorrow and see what the cans of the outdoor foggers say. hopefully they will work AND will be safe around my animals.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 7:52PM
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For us anyway, this has been a horrible year for mosquitoes. We were very close to all the flooding in Iowa and we have had more rain this spring and summer than I can ever remember. The mosquitoes here are not like the ones in the past ---- they don't care at all if you spray yourself with Deep Woods Off! I stopped doing it because there just wasn't a point.

I neglected the gardens because it seems the mosquitoes went to the top of the food chain this summer. I couldn't be out there weeding unless I had on long sleeved shirt/pants and a mosquito hat ----- then it was just too hot. So, I just took off this summer. Hopefully, the garden will come back next year. If not, I'll just mow it all down.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:54PM
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So sorry to hear about your mother's death and your grandmother grandmother's illness.

We've had more rain this year in MS than the past several years, we are actually ahead for the year now. But, so far we are not experiencing a mosquito problem.

We have 2 bug zappers around the house. A regular one that stays on 24/7. And one of those black light ones that come on at dark.

I know from the dead bodies under the zappers it kills a zillon bugs. Both are located in very dark places to attract the insects at night. I also think this is what has decreased the deer fly and horse fly population that normally harasses my horses.

Hope that helps, and once again you have my sympathy in your loss.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:12AM
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