Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just a Thought for Today

We are experiencing quite a number of mosquitoes and biting insects! Some of us are spreading ourselves and spraying ourselves with a variety of anti-bug serums. Most of us are swinging and swatting. In the meantime, however, this is what is out front on the deck! :-)

When Mosquitoes Make a Meal
by Else Holmelund Minarik

When Mosquitoes make a meal,
arms and legs have great appeal.

But they stay out when we go in.
That's why mosquitoes are so thin.

And if we keep them from their dinner,
they're bound to grow a great deal thinner.

My additional stanza:

And so, if we would inside stay,
does that mean they would waste away?

(We might wish!)


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady!
I can identify almost all of those plants (wonderful chartreuse sweet potato vine and a couple of coleus. I can't tell from the picture what the other two are, but the pink flowered one is lovely! And I can confidently say it's not an impatiens! :-)

Isn't sweet potato vine fun stuff? We have some in a pot that wintered over in the house with some geraniums that we need to get planted out front. I'll have to post some of our coleus when they get bigger ... we found some really cool colors this year. I used to scoff at Coleus (though I grew it enthusiastically in my college dorm rooms), because it seemed a stupid choice for the outdoor garden. Obviously, I've long since changed my ways! :-)

As for mosquitoes, they're especially bad this year, don't you think? Likely due to all our wet weather recently, I figure. Aside from the obvious (no standing water, empty plant saucers, etc.) there are a few products you can apply to the yard and garden itself that work quite well. We aren't big on any pesticides at all, but we do use one particular spray that does the trick. It's called Cutter Bug Free Backyard (there are also some similar ones from Ortho and Schultz that work too, but they leave an unpleasant smell for a couple of days). It comes in a spray bottle that you just attach to your garden hose, has a trigger that allows you to shoot where you want, and depending on how big your yard is, usually one or two bottles is enough to really douse our yard and garden. It takes a day or so to take effect, but it really DOES eliminate the little biters! And it lasts up to a month, even with rain. It costs about $8-9 a bottle, but is well worth the price! You can find it in most garden centers (probably even Hy-Vee, though we get ours at Target).

A couple of warnings though (and you'll find these on the bottle)... you should only spray it at dusk, after the bees and butterflies are gone for the day, because it can kill them as well. Doesn't seem to affect fireflies though, for some reason. The other thing is that you should keep any pets off the treated area until it's dry, when it's not a problem for them. We just keep the dogs in for a few hours after we spray, before letting them out. You have to spray absolutely everywhere they might be hiding... dense foliage, weedy areas, etc. but it really makes a huge difference! We're the only ones on the block who do this, and when we can be sitting in the backyard comfortably, then walk across the street to talk to the neighbors and be swatting at them instantly. Try it out, it might just help you solve the problem!

I know, more unsolicited advice, lol!

Gail said...

We are dry and the bugs are still bad! Chiggers/red bugs what ever you call them are terrible, too. Makes me stay indoors...thankfully we can we use the screened porch. Is the pink a Penta?


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What I hate is when the little buggers get inside. My daughter has a bug phobia & I have to play hunt the mosquito until I find it & kill it. And then there's my startled shrieks outside when they fly in my face. Ah, summer.

Shady Gardener said...

IVG, I need to look for the cutters... the bugs are Terrible! Thanks for the info.

Gail, Do you think you could locate some of the "Cutter Bug Free Backyard?"

MMD, I had to laugh at myself this Spring. Alongside so many other people, I'd completely gone bonkers about the arrival of Spring and getting outdoors to garden... when, it suddenly dawned on me that along with nice warm gardening weather comes mosquitoes, wood ticks, and poison ivy. Quite forgotten during the Winter! ;-)