Garden Plot: How to beat back mosquitoes

WASHINGTON – Garden Plot Editor Mike McGrath answers all of your garden and lawn care questions. On the list this week: controlling ticks and mosquitoes, wise watering and rose bush care.

Outfox mosquitoes with breeding traps!

Tanya in Fairfax Station writes: “We just moved to a 5-acre lot and want the best possible advice for controlling mosquitoes and ticks. We have already bought Tick Tubes and a concentrated garlic spray. What else can we do?”

You have made a good start, Tanya. I think that Tick Tubes are one of the best ways to keep tick populations low over a large area. Guinea hens and other fowl are also great — they love to eat ticks. And I have permethrin-treated clothing to wear when I have to cut brush or go into other tick prone areas.

Outdoor garlic sprays, like Mosquito Barrier, will keep backyards and other sprayed areas clear of blood suckers for at least several weeks. The other basic mosquito avoidance advice, of course, is to make sure you don’t have any standing water for mosquitoes to breed in.

But now there’s a new take on that: Use water to make mosquito breeding traps.

Instead of removing all your standing water, leave out lots of water-filled tubs, buckets, tin cans and such and treat them all with the granular form of BTI

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