Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mosquito problems

We have a little house in a flat little neighborhood on a flat little lot of clay, and in the back yard there's a place where that clay is just a teensy bit lower than the neighbors' yards, and in that place the water catches. This, naturally, provides a honeymoon resort for all the mosquitoes on the block, who leave behind thousands upon thousands of baby mosquitoes happy in their little mosquito nursery, who grow up into hungry mama mosquitoes. (It's the mamas that bite you. Apparently pregnancy cravings for mosquitoes are even weirder than for humans.)

Being sentient beings, we don't appreciate being at the bottom of the local food chain. I have a two-bite limit before I go back inside. During the summer, that gives me about ten minutes in the front yard or one in the back. The ducklings, who don't notice the problem until afterwards, do not like these rapid retreats. Neither do I, for that matter. I'm fond of the out-of-doors, and I had been very much looking forward to having a real back yard. Instead, we spent all of last summer and fall at the park, where mosquito bites were rare. But I don't trust the sandboxes there.

So we have been pondering the best plan of attack. One idea is to fill it in with dirt, but that sounds difficult and expensive and we're not sure how well it would work. That water still has to go somewhere and this neighborhood is flat. We can't exactly dig a drainage canal all the way to the Ohio River, and we don't really want it in the basement. Another idea is to plant a tree to drink up all that water, but we're not sure the tree would remember we want it to pull water from the top of the soil. And large thirsty trees probably aren't cheap either.

Right now I'm leaning towards trying this. Forget the relandscaping--let's go for biological warfare. All naturally, of course. I just wonder how often it has to be repeated. And if it really works. But I need to settle on something before the last frost.

1 comment:

Rose said...

I LOVE this post! 'Honeymoon resort for mosquitos' - that's a perfect explanation for the thousands upon thousands of resulting baby mosquitos!