How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes without Harming Bees & Other Pollinators
Question: what comes to mind when you think of summer? Maybe it’s the hot, sunny weather, relaxing by the pool, or BBQs with family and friends. Summer is a great time to spend with the people you love—until the uninvited guests show up.
Some people call them swamp angels, katynippers, or (our personal favorite) skeeters! No matter what you call them, no one invites them to the party, but they always seem to show up. Before you know it, you’re wearing long sleeves during the long humid summers Tennessee is known for.
There are many old wives’ tales about how to get rid of mosquitoes including hanging a bag of water from a tree, using citronella oil, or eating less sugar so you don’t taste so sweet.
One solution we’re all familiar with is using pesticides to control mosquito infestations. Once mosquito levels get too high, your municipal agencies control the problem with widespread spraying.
But there is one disadvantage with this method—pesticides kill honey bees.
In this article, you’ll discover what causes mosquito infestations and how we treat them without hurting our pollinating helpers.
The Mosquito-Bee Dilemma
Mosquitoes often carry diseases like the Zika virus, West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue, and malaria. According to the CDC and the World Health Organization, mosquitos are the most deadly animal known to man and kill nearly 1 million people each year via infectious diseases.
In North America, mosquito-related deaths are minimal, but diseases like West Nile are still a major health concern, both for humans and wildlife.
So in an effort to control the mosquito population, municipalities spray pesticides. However, there is a growing concern that spraying for mosquitoes is harming the honeybee population and other beneficial pollinators like butterflies, ladybugs, butterflies, and the animals that eat them.
While honeybees are not the only pollinators, they provide many agricultural benefits. Bees fly up to 6 miles away from their hive, pollinating more than 5,000 flowers in a day.
So, when it comes to treating your yard for mosquitoes, it’s important to consider whether your pest control methods are causing unnecessary harm to bees and other beneficial insects that should be inhabiting your plants and bushes.
Causes of Mosquito Infestations
Mosquitoes are pesky little critters that turn pleasant nights by a bonfire into a symphony of slapping arms and legs. The next day you have nasty welts that itch like crazy.
Mosquitos thrive in humid, wet areas. In places like Nashville, where the climate can be both dry and arid or wet and humid, mosquitoes come with the change of the seasons.
The following situations and environments are very welcoming for mosquitoes:
- After heavy rainfall
- Standing water
- Tall grass
- Poor yard drainage
- Weeds in flower beds
- Overwatered flower beds
- Soggy leaf piles in shaded areas of your yard
Why You Should Call a Professional
Studies show that treating your yard for mosquitoes can be done safely without harming honeybees and other pollinators. But if you’re trying to treat mosquitos on your own, there is a good chance you will unintentionally harm those pollinators.
For example, some homeowners resort to using bleach or over-the-counter pesticides in standing pools of water like drains and other water features. However, these methods can be very harmful not only to you and your family, but also to any wildlife.
Pesticides, on the other hand, are regulated by the EPA as well as your state government.
But when used improperly, even pesticides can contaminate groundwater, vegetation, and negatively impact the health of your plants and pets.
That’s why we always recommend calling in a professional if you feel you have a mosquito infestation that is negatively impacting your quality of life.
How Turf Managers Protects Bees When Spraying for Mosquitos
Turf Managers is your go-to solution for all of your lawn care needs.
Whether you’re having a barbecue, a small gathering, or just relaxing outdoors, we help make your outside living area as comfortable as your indoor space. Our signature Skeeter Defeater: Mosquito Control spray is formulated specifically to eliminate mosquito pests.
We take the following precautions to ensure that you can keep enjoying your yard, while also protecting our pollinating friends.
Check Before We Treat: The Tennessee Apiary Registry
Before we ever treat your yard or event space, we first check with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Apiary Registry. With this information, we know exactly who has bees near you. We then take extra precautions when we treat your yard.
Working with beekeepers enables them to protect their hives if they feel their bees may be at risk.
And if you have bees yourself, registering your beehive with the Tennessee Apiary Registry not only protects your bees, it protects you in case of widespread disease or plague that affects honeybees. Diseases like American Foulbrood can devastate your population, your investment and the environment.
Registration also provides you with free health checks for your bee population, regular updates in case there is a disease outbreak in the area, and you receive compensation if your hive happens to fall victim to one of those outbreaks.
Registering your beehive also helps us ensure that when we spray, we can take every precaution available to protect your bees.
We Never Use Auto Spray Equipment
Auto spray devices, sometimes called mosquito misters, are set up on your property and spray at pre-set intervals. These devices are connected to fences around the perimeter of your yard or to your home as a means to control mosquito growth.
People like the auto spray because it is effective in getting rid of your mosquito problems. However, the downside is that auto spray equipment not only kills mosquitoes, but also honey bees, ladybugs, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Another disadvantage is automatic spray equipment will spray at inopportune times if it is not disabled. Imagine pesticide spraying during a party, picnic, or yard campout.
Nobody wants to expose their family to inhaling pesticides. For this reason, Turf Managers never use auto spray devices. And you’ll never have to worry about buying or maintaining equipment.
You’ll Never Have Onsite Pesticide Storage
Though pesticides are regulated by the EPA and state governments, it’s still necessary to take precautions to keep children and pets protected from exposure.
That’s why we never leave pesticide storage on your property. It will never be left attached to automatic equipment since doing so increases the chances for leaks, accidents, or unintentional misuse.
We Spot Treat and Avoid Blooming Plants
When treating your yard for mosquitoes, the closer you get to the grass, the better the results. Spot treating will protect pollinators in the process. This prevents excess aerated pesticides that could land on flowers or drift into your neighbor’s yard.
We treat your yard at regular intervals every 2 to 4 weeks.
We can also spot treat before an event to ensure your guests are happy and comfortable. This way, you have peace of mind knowing that your mosquito problem is handled but you don’t have to worry about causing undue harm to the helpful bugs in your garden.
Full Mosquito Prevention Landscaping Services
For the best results, the EPA recommends an Integrated Pest Management approach. This approach involves minimizing any conditions that allow mosquitos to thrive. Places like old tires, sagging tarps, and flower pot saucers are hotbeds for mosquito regeneration.
As a full-service landscaping business, we maintain your drains, gutters, lawns, and foliage to ensure mosquitoes aren’t growing in hidden places. Ivy, tall grass, and overgrown gardens shield mosquitoes from pest treatment, while also providing a damp warm place for them to reproduce.
With full-service lawn care, your yard becomes an extension of your living space and you never have to worry about unwanted pests while you’re trying to relax.
Pesticides are regulated by the EPA to protect the environment as well as the health and safety of humans and local wildlife. Pesticides are limited in their geographical usage to protect plant and animal life that may be affected differently in new areas.
Turf Managers pest technicians are certified by the state of Tennessee to use pesticides commercially. We receive extensive training on the best practices of applying pesticides and how to minimize any burden to the environment or to the health and safety of humans and wildlife.
Safe Bee Removal
Sometimes, no matter the precautions you take, bees themselves can become pests. Hives inside walls or in corners of your sheds are not only dangerous, but they’re also expensive to repair.
We use an integrated approach to removing bees that involves identifying the species, calling in the proper organizations, and safely removing them causing as little agitation as possible.
Enjoy Your Mosquito-free Summer
A mosquito-free summer starts with an innovative approach. These pesky buggers can be eliminated without harm to beneficial insects with a professional’s touch.
Call in Turf Managers for everything from building out your back patio and refreshing your seasonal plants to keeping your guests safe from mosquitoes.
We’ve been happily servicing the greater Nashville area for more than 20 years. Turf Managers has a deep understanding of the Tennessee climate, soil conditions, and how those conditions affect your plant life.
Contact us today to see how we can help your yard become an extension of your home. You can have your lawn treated in as little as 72 hours.