Although mosquitoes are not usually a danger to plants, they are insects to stay away from. From the first moment they come out of the water or wet land, already turned into adults, they do everything they can to perch on a warm-blooded animal (regardless of whether it has legs or legs) to sting it. And we all know how insistent they can be.
Although in general they do not usually cause us more than itching that disappears by itself after a few days, and, perhaps, a small redness, sometimes the situation can be very complicated, since these insects can transmit pathogens such as the virus of the malaria or the protozoan leishmania, which causes leishmaniasis. That’s why it’s so important to know how to remove mosquitoes from plants.
Why do mosquitoes come out?
to the mosquitoes they are favored by excess humidity and also by high temperatures; although with this climate change and the appearance of new varieties, little by little we are seeing specimens even in winter, as in the warm regions of the Mediterranean, which have always had mild winter temperatures, but as time goes by the cold winter takes longer to install.
For this reason, we no longer only have to take measures to avoid them in summer, but now it is worth doing it the rest of the year as well.
How to prevent mosquitoes on plants?
There are a number of things that can be done to minimize the risk of them appearing:
Avoid leaving containers with water outside
This is the first thing to do. If we want our garden, patio or terrace to be free of mosquitoes, we do not have to give them the opportunity to multiply. It’s not even a good idea to leave buckets outside during the winter if we live in an area where temperatures are mild. Therefore, if we have collected rainwater, it is best to fill bottles with that water and close them with a cap the same day or the next at the latest.
If you have animals or are one of those who leave drinking bowls so that stray cats can drink, change the water frequently: every 2 or 3 days. During the warmer months mosquitoes develop rapidly; in winter they take longer to become adults, but equally, when it comes to preventing them from growing on plants, all prevention is little.
Put mosquito repellent plants
There are some odors that mosquitoes hate, such as the one emitted by many aromatic plants. One of the ones that has worked best for me is the lavender essence
. There are several types, and all are characterized by their easy cultivation: they only need sun and some water, although they can withstand drought.
Other interesting plants are the rosemary, basil, thyme, anti-mosquito geranium and citronella. Like lavender, they should also be placed in sunny places and watered moderately.
…And avoid growing plants that attract mosquitoes
Just as there are plants that repel them, there are also others that attract them. Who hasn’t gone hiking in the countryside and come home with the occasional sting? Because, it is advisable to avoid having plants such as laurel, chamomile, pansy or lantana.
If you like them too much and want to have them yes or yes, then put them surrounded by others that repel these insects, and if possible away from the areas where you spend more time.
Control the watering of your plants
Apart from what we have told so far, these insects can land on the plants when we water them too much. In fact, there is a variety, the ground mosquito, which spends its larval stage on the groundbut this has to be permanently wet for it to reach the adult stage.
And of course, it is too easy to make this happen, since it is enough to water a lot without giving the soil time to dry, or put a plate under the pot and never drain it. Thus, it is very, very important to water when necessary, to drain the dish, and not to plant any plants in pots without holes (unless they are aquatic).
How to get rid of mosquitoes on plants?
Now it is time to know how to eliminate them in case they are already in the plants:
set some traps
The yellow colored traps are covered with an adhesive substance that attracts flies and mosquitoes. When they land on them, they no longer detach and eventually die. Because, it is highly advisable to put them, for example, in:
- Hanging on tree branches and/or palm leaves (on the stems that join them to the trunk)
- In nurseries and in places where there are grouped plants, such as tables or shelves
- inside the greenhouse
And the best thing is that they are not worth much: the price is usually around ten euros. There are even cheaper ones, like this, which is made up of 20 small pieces of 8 x 12 centimeters that you can stick in the pots or wherever you want and that is only worth 7,69 euros. What’s more, they not only serve you against mosquitoes, but also to eliminate aphids and whitefly.
Temporarily suspend watering
Mosquitoes love excess moisture, so if we want to remove them from the ground, we have to stop watering for a while. In this way, the larvae will not be able to continue their development and will die.
But also you have to drain the plate that has under the pot, the container without holes in which we have put it. If any mosquito finds even a little standing water, it will use it to lay its eggs.
If it is a plant that does not resist drought and therefore has to be watered frequently, such as tomato plants, peppers or others, then we can choose to treat them with ecological insecticidessuch as diatomaceous earth.
This is quite similar to flour, and as it is light and leaves no residue, but it is very effective against pests, since it acts by contact: once it touches the body of the larva (or insect), it pierces its skin and causes him to die of dehydration. Of course, it takes a while to take effect, but after 2 or at most 3 days you can already see results. In this video you have more information:
Grow carnivorous plants
There are some, such as Drosera and Pinguicula that have trap leaves with mucilage, which is a sticky substance. When any small insects, such as mosquitoes, land on them, they no longer have anything to do. Yes indeed, They are plants that can become a bit demanding, since they need:
- Shade (they can never get direct sunlight)
- Plastic pot with holes in its base
- Moderate irrigation with rain or distilled water
- As a substrate, a specific one for carnivorous plants, or a mixture of unfertilized blonde peat (such as that of Flower) mixed with perlite in equal parts
- Protection in case of frost, and also against snails (they devour them)
But they are worth growing. They are beautiful, and if you only have problems with mosquitoes in summer, then in winter you will not mind having to bring them indoors if you live in a town or city where it is cold. Also, they always stay small, so They adapt very well to living in pots.
With all these tips, we hope that the mosquitoes stop bothering you, both your plants and you.