Spend This Summer WITHOUT Mosquitoes and Flies

By on August 08, 2014

Life cycle of the mosquito, from University of Arkansas

Vampire movies are popular, but most people don’t want their blood sucked by mosquitoes. They don’t want flies biting them, either, or landing on platters of food.

Get rid of those pesky insects, without spraying clouds of toxic chemicals all over your yard.

Interrupting the Life Cycle of the Mosquito

In the warm water of summer, a mosquito can run through its life cycle in one week. So go dump any standing water (home to mosquito eggs, larvae and pupas) right now. We’ll wait.

Back? Great.

If you have standing water you don’t want to drain (bird baths and ponds) you should add a “donut” that contains the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) which kills mosquitoes, but does not harm other insects or animals.

You can eradicate breeding areas with these two techniques, but what about mosquitoes that fly in from other yards? A mosquito can fly several miles. Foil them with a garlicky spray, Mosquito Barrier. The garlic smell will go away quickly, but the sulfur will remain and it’s toxic to mosquitoes. Spray Mosquito Barrier all over your lawn and shrubs—even your vegetables, they won’t pick up a garlic flavor. It keeps ticks and fleas away too, according to the label.

Put up a Vacancy sign at your new Bat House and add some mosquito-eating wildlife to your garden. Bats can eat millions of mosquitoes in the summertime!

wood fly trap

What About Those Flies?

When it comes to controlling flies you want to be sure to control both life stages – the larva or maggot and the adult. To control the larva stage you can use fly parasites which parasitize and kill the larva of many different fly species. The parasites can be released every one to four weeks during warm weather through October.

To control the adult, traps are the the way to go. The Wooden Fly Trap is very effective at attracting and catching the adult. The bait, a mixture of ammonium carbonate and yeast, is mixed with water and placed under the trap in full sun. The bait becomes very smelly, attracting the flies, which in turn fly up and get caught inside the fly trap. In the video, Organic Mosquito Control & Fly Traps, Tricia explains step-by-step on how to use the trap.

Another trap which uses the “stinky” bait is the Flies Be Gone trap. Simply put the bait in the bag, fill with water and hang in full sun away from your outdoor sitting area. The old-fashioned sticky strips work well hanging where flies are found. But be mindful when putting these out. Bats can become entangled in the sticky traps which can cause damage to their wings.

Organic gardeners love natural predators—for flies those would be Praying Mantids and parasitic mini-wasps, aka Fly Parasite Complex. The mini-wasps will be busy with the flies and uninterested in vertebrates.

glass wasp trap

Good Wasp, Bad Wasp

In the video How To Get Rid of Wasps, Tricia discusses several methods to control wasps around your house. The Glass Wasp Trap with Lure is a beautiful and functional trap for catching those pesky wasps that invade your summer picnic.

Imagine—a summer free of mosquitoes and flies.  See the products in action in our videos about Pesky Insects and Organic Mosquito Control.

Wishing you a summer where you never hear that eeeee mosquito sound in your ear or getting pestered during a BBQ!

The University of California Integrated Pest Management site has a Pest Note with more information about mosquitoes as disease vectors.

Curious about predatory beneficial insects? They starred in their own video with Tricia.

  Comments (8)


Not there in your area perhaps but down here in the high desert country of New Mexico the stink bugs eat at tomatoes, and then where they poked in their unwelcome noses, the tomatoes go yellow splotched, and turn mushy. Any option beside squishing them?

Posted by How about 'stink' bugs? on Sep. 15, 2011 at 7:01:20 PM

Safer EndAll Insect Killer is OMRI listed, contains neem oil, and is labelled to combat stink bugs http://www.groworganic.com/safer-endall-insect-killer-rtu-32oz.html?SID=ef896f099e1a8d70a0caed47fcb5ecd5

Posted by GrowOrganic.com on Sep. 24, 2011 at 12:47:03 PM


When Fly Parasite Complex is used over a period of time, how should I keep the creatures alive?

Posted by Nancy Ekstrom on May. 24, 2014 at 9:48:36 PM

Hello Nancy,

There are instructions that come with the fly parasite complex. You can also look at the instructions online on the fly complex product page.

Posted by GrowOrganic.com on May. 27, 2014 at 8:44:50 AM


What can be used to keep squirrels from tomato plants ?

Posted by Lissa Mattson on Jun. 13, 2014 at 8:24:36 PM

Hello Lissa,

This repellent is labeled to repel squirrels and can be used on food crops: http://www.groworganic.com/plantskydd-rabbit-and-small-animal-repellent-powder-1-lb.html

Posted by GrowOrganic.com on Jun. 16, 2014 at 11:03:32 AM


I wish you’d say more about wasps. The wasps that build their mud houses up under the eaves never bother us. We leave them alone. The yellow jackets that live in the ground are very intrusive and have a dangerous sting. When we find their nests in the ground, I use the strongest, most toxic chemicals I can find against them.

Posted by Mike Van Horn on Aug. 09, 2014 at 1:55:39 PM


Boiling water poured down ground wast nests works well. Mugwort (an artemisia) kept rabbits out of my strawberry patch when planted at the 4 corners. It might work on squirrels too.

Posted by Ann Wasgatt on Jun. 29, 2015 at 6:36:02 PM

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