June 17, 2024
Try Mosquito Dunks for a mosquito-free summer

You can have a virtually mosquito  free summer, thanks to Mosquito Dunks!

by Mary Reid Barrow

You can have a virtually mosquito free summer, thanks to Mosquito Dunks!

I know I sound like an advertisement, but in more ways than one I really am not being paid to write this.

LRNow believes in dunks so much that they are giving away a dunk to everyone who participates in their Native Garden Tour on June 28. See more here:

And I am a believer too. I have not had many problems with mosquitoes in the 10 years or so since I started using dunks in my birdbaths and flowerpot saucers and checking for standing water around the yard.

Mosquitoes only lay eggs in stagnant water. The small, granulated donut-shaped dunks, available at places like hardware stores and garden centers, kill mosquito larva in water before they develop into full-fledged mosquitoes and better yet, before then can bite.

Dunks are made with Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), bacteria that is harmful only to mosquito larvae. It won’t harm people, other insects or animals, like birds, frogs, fish and more.

Read the directions on the package, but, in essence, it’s easy. All it takes is breaking off a little piece for your bird baths or flowerpot saucers or any place where standing water collects. You might toss a whole dunk in your pond. When the dunks disappear, add more.

Do these other simple things and you really can cut way back on mosquitoes this summer. Walk around your yard after it rains and check for standing water. Either dump it or add a trusty dunk. Mosquitos can breed in containers as small as bottle caps, I have read. Drop a piece of dunk in that puddle in the driveway. Think to check clogged gutters, children’s toys, old tires, even tree holes.

Other ways to make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes include planting native flowers that attract other insects that may themselves dine on mosquitoes. In turn, insects attract hungry birds that also dine on mosquitoes, a lot of them. That’s because almost all birds, even hummingbirds, feed insects to their young before they are able to digest seeds and mosquitoes make baby-size bites.

Put up a bat house. I did because bats are a huge mosquito predator (and I think bats are cool). I can’t promise bats are helping me because they come and go at night and I don’t often see them, but I like to think so.

Give mosquito dunks to your neighbors and explain how they work to help cut down on mosquitos. That might help if you feel like the pesky insects are drifting into your yard.

It doesn’t matter how many dunks you use. They are not as costly as an exterminator whose spray mainly hits mosquitoes that are in the way but also kills other beneficial bugs.

Dunks do exactly what you want them to do, no less, no more.

Here’s an article from the National Wildlife Federation on what you need to know about commercial sprays and ways to take matters into your own hands:

Photo credit: National Wildlife Federation blog


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