You want lots of bees on your property, but you don’t want the mosquitoes.
While mosquitoes have their place in the world, most of us prefer not to have them swarming in the garden and worse, getting inside the house.
Protecting all the pollinators and other insects (and wildlife) in the garden when you want to undertake some mosquito control is really important. A general insecticide or pest control procedure will kill off almost every insect including bees, spiders and other bugs – and that’s not what we want to be doing if we care about the environment. These chemicals are also toxic to us and our pets.
Sadly and concerningly to a lot of people is the way in which many local county authorities in certain areas maintain regular or seasonal mosquito abatement programs that involves widespread spraying of poison chemicals around entire towns in order to control mosquitoes, in the name of public health. The downsides are obvious: a die off of other insects, not to mention the potential effects on human health. If you live in an area where this takes place, it can certainly bring about anxiety; especailly if you love your garden bees and other insects.
The respected magazine Bee Culture states that “In urban and suburban areas, mosquito abatement practices are causing unnecessary bee kills” and the Pollinator Stewardship Council is dedicated to educating the public about these programs, as well as doing all they can to protect bees who are at risk from government mosquito spraying programs. It is well worth getting in contact with them if you require specific information about where you live in the US.
So what sort of mosquito control can you do that is bee-friendly and general insect-friendly?
You’re far from the first person to want to know this and lucky for us, it’s a question that has been investigated for a long time by some of the most knowledgable bee-people around: those who keep bee hives and need to ensure that their bees are not exposed to poisons. We can borrow a lot from this knowledge and experience and apply it in our own gardens and homes, no matter how large or small or how many bees you might have around.