May 27, 2009–Today’s Way: Okay, I know I’m a little fixated on the mosquitoes this week, but that’s because there are just so darned many of them this year!  A snowy winter and a wet, rainy spring has brought lots of happy flowers, plants and trees, but it’s also deposited a lot of little vernal ponds of standing water everywhere, the ideal breeding grounds for massive mosquito egg-laying orgies.  But what to do if you don’t want to use chemicals to combat the whining clouds of bloodthirsty critters?  First, eliminate as many of the standing water traps as possible; used tires, fallow bird baths, ditches with poor drainage, gutters and abandoned children’s pools are some of the most common offenders.  Also, try to keep your grass trimmed.  And if you’re willing or able to build a bat house, that can help, too.  Best of all, you can use Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis (aka Bti) pellets or dunks in your pond or other areas where standing water cannot be drained.  These little naturally-occuring bacteria are harmless to wildlife, plants, pets and humans, but deadly to mosquito larvae where they hatch.  You can find products containing Bti online, at hardware stores, feed stores and increasingly, in larger superstores.

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