Mosquitoes (and Bats!)

Begging for a bat house

The garden is doing well (thanks for asking), so well in fact, that we are awash in broccoli. If anyone comes within 10 feet of the house, I force them to take a crown. I pretty much throw broccoli at passersby. It’s like reverse Halloween over here. I’ve given away so much broccoli that Josie has decided that along with happy birthday, enjoy your broccoli is a standard greeting. She’s also in a no-clothes phase of life so our little naked wood nymph has been running around the yard yelling, enjoy your broccoli! to anyone who will listen (ie: the dog).

And this little anecdote has nothing to do with what I really want to write about. Total change of subject. Are you ready?

Mosquitoes! The hysterical’s guide to mosquito repellant (kind of). We don’t have much of a problem here in the northwest with bugs so I’m really not qualified to comment but, as usual that won’t stop me. I came across an interesting article that says wind, even a small amount from a house fan, is an effective deterrent. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, sweat, lactic acid and body heat. The fan works not just because it makes it hard for the lil’ buggers to land, but because it disperses our breath and cools us down. So get an extension cord and move that fan outside.

Also bats! I love bats. Really. I’m fascinated by them and collect odd bat facts. I don’t know why. I keep thinking I will write something that has to do with bats someday but it never happens. Maybe this is it. Maybe this is my big bat story. Did you know that the Brazilian Free-tailed bat consumes 200-600 insects per night? And, the bats of Texas consume 6-18,000 metric tons of insects each year. You’re welcome for that. Anyway, buy them a house. (You can even buy one that looks like a castle.) Paint it black. Maybe it would be tough to carry with you when you go hiking but it could help for those nights on the back deck.

Okay, seriously, this is probably no help at all. It’s definitely no help for those of you who want to leave your yard. Any of you peeps living in mosquito-laden lands have suggestions on keeping them away without harming your children or the planet?

6 thoughts on “Mosquitoes (and Bats!)

  1. Alyssa

    We always ate a ton of garlic before we went hiking (and dropped crushed cloves in any standing water in the garden). I don’t know if that was wishful thinking on my parents’ part, or if it actually works. We had dead mosquito larvae in the puddles in the garden at least.

  2. Barb

    This is awesome. I didn’t ever think about the wind thing, but you’re so right. That’s great. Unfortunately the big discussions around my neck of the woods are related to bug repellent because of fear of ticks and lyme disease. I don’t buy the spray and I don’t use it and I just live under the assumption that if one of us gets bitten by a lyme-disease infected tick we’ll get that target-shaped rash and we’ll nip it in the bud. But as with all things mommy-related, it’s kind of sensitive, controversial topic around here. Any chance there’s something like Wind that could solve THAT problem? 🙂

  3. amy k

    greetings! we are just back from the mosquito infested east coast. it would have taken an industrial sized fan to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I had armed myself with burts bee bug spray (mostly citronella based) and yet another one, this one an ORGANIC bug spray which I purchased at Whole Foods. Well, indeed, the mosquitoes found it quite delicious. Much like I find anything purchased at Whole Foods. We started calling it Mosquito bait and were fighting over the DEET laden Cutters backwoods within an hour. It was RIDICULOUS! We did see a few bats but sadly needed more of them. I wish I had known about the garlic. Hmmmm….My brother in law has lyme disease. Based on his incredible suffering and pain, we chose to smear ourselves with chemicals rather than worry about lyme and west nile. Honestly, if it were just the nuisance of a mosquito bite, I would deal with it but now it is a whole new ball game. Luckily, Winnie was asleep during the most rampant hours of mosquito feasting so I didn’t have to subject her to the Cutters.

  4. Katherine Post author

    You’re killing me Amy! Good thing you were feeding those mosquitoes organic bug repellent. Wouldn’t want them to get sick!

  5. Mom

    Barn Swollows! Pretty, cute and very thorough with bugs. It is fun to watch the bats and the barn swollows fight it out for the bugs.

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