Have You Noticed the Uptick of Mosquitos in Connecticut?
Seriously, is it me, or are there a lot more mosquitoes out there in Connecticut these days? I mean, you can actually hear them dive bombing past your head like John Belushi in his WWII plane in the movie 1941. If you get that reference, you spent a lot of time watching HBO as a kid in the 1980s.
Indeed the mosquito is nature's antagonist, always pestering everything that has blood in its circulation system. It seems that I am being hounded more and experiencing more mosquito bites than ever before. In my home state of Kansas, there of course are mosquitos, but not ones that are the size of a small child like they are here. Mosquitos around here are ginormous, no wonder so many properties have screened-in porches and patios, it's to protect themselves from those flying micro-carnivores.
According to an article from Connecticut Public Radio, mosquitoes in our state are not only getting more abundant, they are getting more diverse. The first mosquitoes detected with the West Nile Virus in North America were found right here in Connecticut 23 years ago in 1999. As you can imagine, scientists gathered lots of data in that time period and have discovered that the mosquito population has increased and so has the species. The CDC tells us that more than 50 species of mosquitos have been detected in Connecticut and over 3500 types worldwide. It could be that the warmer weather is allowing for a more diverse population of mosquitoes, whatever it is, it's not that pleasant for us humans.
Now that we know that there are definitely more of them, what can we do about it? Aside from slathering yourself with deep woods off and wearing three layers of clothes or dressing up like Walter White about to cook up some meth to go outside, what else is there? Some ways to help control mosquitoes in your yard are candles, cedar mulch, keeping the lawn neat and manicured, and chemical repellents can work. But be careful, some could be harmful to your pet. Personally, I am a big fan of citronella.
One cool way to help control the mosquitoes on your property is the use of "bat houses." That's right, one of the ways to control the mosquito population is by promoting a predator's presence. Meaning, attract bats to your property and they could help reduce the mosquitoes and make for a much more pleasant outdoor experience in your own yard.
Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website actually promotes the use of "bat houses" and they even provide plans and show you how to build them.
You can also visit Big Bat Box and get one. They also list some of the benefits of a bat house on your property including insect and mosquito control, plant pollination, and seed distribution, not to mention the popularity of bat guano for fertilizer. This is something I am definitely going to invest in. Not only will it help our property overall, but it can also give a nice bat a place to live it can help preserve the species.