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The weather this past weekend was
beautiful. So was everything else for working outside -- except for
the mosquitoes and a little bit of excess dampness. Mosquito
populations are among the highest that we have seen in recent years,
and they don't look to diminish any time soon. Mosquito populations
may be managed, but total control is next to impossible.
Preventing mosquitoes is a first step.
Homeowners can best accomplish this by eliminating standing water.
Tires and old containers are obvious places to start. Drill holes in
the bottom of recycling containers, clean clogged gutters, don't
allow stagnant water in anything such as birdbaths, change landscape
slopes to eliminate standing water, and use larvicides in standing
water that can't be eliminated. Bt israelensis is the strain that is
effective against mosquito larvae -- not the Bt variety commonly
used on trees and gardens!
Also protect yourself from bites.
Mosquitoes can travel up to three miles from their breeding sites!
Make sure that screens and doors are tight, use proper outside
lighting such as fluorescent lights, stay indoors at dawn and dusk
when mosquitoes are most active, wear long-sleeved shirt and long
pants when you must go outside, and use insect repellents properly
applied. Exposed skin should be sparingly treated with a repellent
containing up to 30 percent DEET (up to 10 percent for children),
and make sure to treat thin clothing as well (since mosquitoes can
bite through the thin clothing). The higher DEET percentages can
work for four to six hours. The lower concentrations will work for
about two hours. Mild products such as the active ingredient in
cosmetic company non-DEET formulas may work for 15-30 minutes.
For that special occasion outside, you
can reduce populations by spraying large areas with insecticides
such as malathion or permethrin that are effective against flying
insects. Don't expect miracles, but you can greatly reduce
populations for a few hours. Concentrate sprays in shrubbery, tall
grass and tree areas.
Elimination of mosquito breeding sites,
treatment of larvae and proper protection for people will go a long
way in reducing the incidence of mosquito populations in our area
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The "Thru the Garden Gate" garden walk,
sponsored by the Logan County Master Gardeners, will be this
Saturday. Hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. There are 10 gardens on the
tour, and the cost is $8 in advance or $10 the day of the garden
walk. You may begin the walk at any site listed on the ticket, or
stop at the Extension office to purchase a ticket and begin the
walk. The walk will take place rain or shine. The gardens are all of
premium quality and should provide ideas and inspiration for any
Information on the various gardens is
available on the tickets or may be previewed at this Web address:
ticket sales are available at the Extension office, 980 N. Postville
Drive in Lincoln. Funds generated from the walk are used for
projects, additional training and help subsidize the cost of future
Master Gardener training sessions.
Logan County Extension office]