Tiger Mosquitoes in Maryland (and DC and Virginia)

While starting to think about planning this years vegetable and (maybe) flower garden, I'm reviewing what went wrong last year. Possibly my biggest problem was the tiger mosquito, an invasive species found in Maryland since about 1987. Last year, storms in May created ideal conditions for an increased Mosquito population. The biggest problem with the tiger mosquitoes is that they come out during the day, unlike regular mosquitoes which only come out only at dusk. Last year, I would come home from work and have to change into long pants and long sleeves just to pick a few tomatoes and herbs for my dinner. Without protective clothing, I would get dozens of bites within a few minutes. They seemed to particularly like hanging out near the vegetable plants which were in shade in the late afternoon. Needless to say, this made any extended gardening and other yard work on the weekends rather unpleasant. The result was that I neglected my garden after the end of June.

So what can be done? We all know to eliminate standing water as much as possible. But that doesn't seem to be enough to keep these pests under control. I also don't like the idea of spraying myself with toxic chemicals such as DEET, especially when I'm handling vegetables I'd like to eat. Gomestic lists five mosquito repelling plants. Curbly describes 10 "low tech" (and seemingly environmentally friendly) ways to repel mosquitoes including attracting bats, eating garlic, and opting for fluorescent lights. But do these techniques work for tiger mosquitoes as well? The only suggestions I've found which are specific to tiger mosquitoes come from Garden Rant where Susan Harris suggests banding together with neighbors to use pheromone based traps.

1 comment:

  1. I say nuke em! Call in the big guns!

    I hate, hate, hate the mosquitoes. This year I'm going to try a few of the less harsh sprays and see how they do. But if it doesn't work, I'm calling in the air force.