Mosquitoes are spreading at this time of year, a fact that the 7 First Alert Meteorologists can link with our recent rain: 116 days and counting from mid-June only until 2019.
It is a serious problem since West Nile has been found again in our area this year. Getting rid of mosquitoes sounds good, but there is a question about how to do it: with chemicals or without them?
The people of Friends of the Rouge River say that skipping chemicals will benefit everyone in the long term.
"We're all part of this closed-loop system, right?" Said Marie McCormick. "So, anything we do for ourselves and our earth will affect us in any way?"
McCormick, and their groups, have a great concern for our local watersheds: pesticides and chemicals that are sprayed in the yard and then in nearby rivers and streams.
That is why members like Cindy Ross have found alternatives: he turned his entire backyard into a refuge for native species that attracts all kinds of insects, and when mosquitoes come, they often find predators, such as dragonflies.
"They can eat 2 to 3,000 mosquitoes a day, so it's my natural mosquito repellent," Ross said. "Any plague they may have, other native plants attract that beneficial insect that treats them naturally."
McCormick said that highly aromatic plants are also natural deterrents: basil, thyme, lemon grass and lavender are plants that tend to defend against mosquitoes.
Removing standing water from your garden, or things that allow it, also helps. Old tires, unused pots, buckets, sand boxes and toys for children are all things to consider.
Citronella candles are an option for some, but McCormick said that a well-placed bat box [natural mosquito predators] can also help.
For Ross, the goal is to plant things that occur naturally to make sure he does not stray from the plants that are in our area. It also ensures that they are ready to thrive in your garden.
You can find more information about native species to Michigan here . Or if you are interested in what type of plants are most likely to attract butterflies and dragonflies, you can read a guide how to do it online in HGTV .