Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I don't know how it is anywhere else, but here in Southeastern WI, with the plentiful rain, and now heat and humidity, it's been a banner year for the mosquito population. I think I'm about to go insane! The dogs bring them in the house every time they come back from a trip outside, and I'm constantly squishing them (or being bitten). They go by the stove light and die there--I had one fall in the dinner I was preparing one night, which made me have to start over from scratch. (Sorry, but mosquito will never be an ingredient in one of my meals. Ugh!) I go outside to pull a few weeds and they swarm me almost instantly. My neighbors must think I'm nuts as I step outside, pull a weed or two, and then end up running for the house while wildly flailing my arms and shaking my head.

The coup de gras was this weekend. My brother always gets a bunch of fireworks for his (July 3rd) birthday. Saturday night, he put on a display for us, lighting them off. I wore jeans, socks, tennis shoes and a 3/4 length shirt. I covered my arms and face with mosquito spray and figured I'd be okay. I only got one bite where I had spray on--right on my index finger. But the little #%*&ers bit right through my jeans, socks and shirt. I have no less than 79 bites ( counted), most of them on my knees where the fabric was snug against my skin. The itching is making me feel crazed, and it sure isn't allowing me to get any sleep. :(

I think mosquitoes are proof of evolution--only a natural process like evolution could have devised such a vile little insect. My husband says, "But they're food for bats and frogs! Circle of life..." and I say that bats and frogs could feed off of the plentiful insects that don't feed on US.

*grumble* *scratch*

Waterman, IL(Zone 5a)

Same here in northern Illinois. I tried 4 times this morning to take a picture of a daylily. They were on my face, I tried not to move, so I could get a good shot. 4 times, 4 blurry pictures. I give up. They are evil bugs.

Albert Lea, MN(Zone 4b)

Yep, they are awful here in southern MN too. I'm one of those people they seem to be especially attracted to...even if nobody else is being bothered, they'll find me! The dang things always find the one tiny spot on my body where the mosquito spray didn't quite cover...which usually ends up being a butt cheek or somewhere in the middle of the back. I can't even get near my garden any more, I swear they know to lurk just where I want to be!

Saint Paul, MN(Zone 4a)

In the summer, I don't use my usual Aveda products. The natural botanicals really attract the bugs. My time outside is much more peaceful when I'm scentless...

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

My skeeters are dreadful 24/7 this year! My first 3 minutes outside are fine, and then they find me. The only way that I can work outside is to be completely marinaded in DEET. I'm not thrilled with the idea of being soaked in chemicals, but nothing else works....and I need to spray my clothing as well. Jeans hardly even slow them down. I should buy shares of Deep Woods Off.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Oh, yes - hate 'em. HATE 'em! Kayley, I don't think I have as many in Des Plaines as you, being in a suburb rather than country setting, but they're bad here, too. I can't even get out and do things in the garden! If it's not them, it's bees, heat, humidity . . .


Bark River, MI

Kayly, take heart -- I've been here in mosquitoville so long that I don't get enough reaction to count the bites anymore.

Not that they aren't still extremely annoying!

(and the black flies don't even seem to have shown up yet...)

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

What I can't figure out is why they're way worse in my front yard than they are in my back, when the back is a jungle and the front is...well, better kept, at least. (I try, but this has been a banner year for weeds as well as mosquitoes!) I lean over my front hosta bed and there are half a dozen of them in my face in seconds. Jerks!

At least the bites that I have are now no longer itching. Took about 48 hours (and that was madness!) before they calmed down. But now I feel extremely paranoid. Everything I see out of the corner of my eye is a mosquito. hehe

Meanwhile, while the stupid mosquitoes are forcing me indoors, the Japanese beetles have arrived and are snacking, particularly in the backyard. I see people with traps all over the place, so I have to assume this is a widespread thing this year. They're making Swiss cheese out of my hostas in back. Fortunately, they haven't paid much attention to the ones out front as far as I can see. *knock wood!*

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Skeeters are bad here too but I am one of those lucky fellers that they do not like. Even though I don't get eaten alive, I still don't like a swarm of bugs in my face, up my nose or in my ears. I haven't seen any Japanese beetles yet even though the local news recently did a story on them. They will be done eating your hostas in 3 weeks and then the beetles will die. I just have a ton of slugs eating things here. My Fragrant Blue should be renamed Fragrant Swiss.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Hey! Swiss cheese hosta! I like it! : )

Weedwhacker, I would happily send you some of my flies since you don't have any, except my cat loves to catch those that come in the house!

I've come to understand that gardening is a spring and fall activity for all except the thick skinned and strong hearted!

Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

Quote from sherriseden :
I've come to understand that gardening is a spring and fall activity for all except the thick skinned and strong hearted!

You left out the thick headed!

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Mosquitoes have been terrible here as well. I just get a sense of revenge for the ones that stung me last night should have had a pretty good hangover this

My husband usually sprays the shrubs, trees, grass what ever he can get to with Cutters Backyard Bug Control. Has worked well for the mosquitoes every year but this one. You know its bad then. Any way we found that if a Japanese Beetle comes into direct contact with it it keels over dead. It does say it will control JB's but we weren't spraying the insect direct with it; till Tuesday when I found them eating up my canna.

Ed doesn't know the ratio to mix it cause its one of those bottles that you connect to the hose and it mixes that way. Any way he sprayed it into a watering can and filled a spray bottle. I took that on my morning walk yesterday around the gardens and would spray the JB's saying DIE suckers. and they in fact did die and fall off the leaf or bloom which ever they were on when I sprayed them. Think I might have come on to sumpthing?

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Quote from cececoogan :
Mosquitoes have been terrible here as well. I just get a sense of revenge for the ones that stung me last night should have had a pretty good hangover this morning.

LOL! Thanks for making my day, cece!

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Your Welcome.

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

AAHH the revenge of the humans,kill those buggers..Too funny hungover mosquito,tehe.Yes I dont dare walk down to the wetland,moquitos would carry me off.I had to go get the cat down there,I ran back up the hill with the cat ,he didnt like the run back to the house,too badd.Not a lot of JBs to report,amen

Hobart, IN

DH uses the Cutter's here too and it does seem to help. He does try to calculate when it's the best time to spray after a heavy rain. He also sprays first thing in the morning before the mosquitoes get up and moving. He patiently sprays the entire back of the lot, knowing how far the blood suckers will travel. Our lot backs up onto a wooded wetlands so we usually have to deal with them every year at some point.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Ed went out last night just before we left for a night out and sprayed. They were hanging on the screens they were so thick on the patio, This morning not a one to be found. Now whether the Cutters actually worked THIS time or the cooler less humid weather I will TAKE it. I got a garden walk this morning and not a single bite, not even a sight of one.

Hobart, IN

It's less humid here as well and breezy which always helps.

Normal, IL

Agree. During the summer my favorite smelly stuff is Cutters=DEET. Doesn't matter if outside for 10 minutes or hours...I have to spray...then no problems. Unless I'm at my parents who live within a mile of the grand (sarcasm) Illinois river. Their soil is 50% sand and nothing seems to subdue the gnats and misquitos. I refuse to do yard work at my parents after Memorial hour in the yard and I look like I have I've been a food festival for the pests.

Lakeville, MN

My position is why were they made to suck blod instead of fat!

Hobart, IN

hampton - funny!
onegood... - How interesting - I would have thought that sandier soil would be more of a limiting condition to mosquitoes as opposed to the swampy clay we have here. The rains here are coming at just the right intervals to keep the skeeters breeding like crazy. The hot, humid weather coupled with the skeeters makes it miserable to work outdoors. Almost would wish for the first hard frost of fall.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Cindy, there's a song by Vienna Teng (I love her, although she's not very well known) called Drought. The lyrics begin:

Summer, move forward
And stitch me the fabric of fall
Wrap life in the brilliance of death
And humble us all

This time of year, with the dog days of summer upon us and the cicadas droning away and the mosquitoes voracious I always think of this song and think, Yes, I'm ready for fall. Fall is my favorite season, followed by spring. Both are, in my opinion, way too short.

(Huh! I found the song on YouTube.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Kayly, I just searched Vienna on Pandora - she has a great sound! When I created the station, the next song they played was "Leave Me Here" by Hem. Never heard it before, but it's gorgeous! For those not familiar with Pandora, it's a new concept in music radio where you pick a song or artist you like and Pandora presents other songs of the same genre. You give a thumbs up or down and create your own station. Awesome! It's free, but trust me . . . you'll want to upgrade! The upgrade is $36 a year. If you're sick of canned music, check it out!

Anyway - out in the yard this evening, moving a couple of plants and must have gotten about 30 bites! And you know what? They go for the backside! What's up with that?

I agree with Hampton - why can't they just suck fat! It's another cruel joke by Nature - everything that feels good is either illegal, immoral (whatever that is), or somehow "bad" for you. IN HEAVEN, THERE WILL BE CHOCOLATE AND PLANTS THAT NEED NO MAINTENANCE!! Maybe . . .

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Oooooh, Kayley - next song was "Do What You Have To Do" by Sarah McLachlan! Beautiful! Check that one out, too . . .

Sorry, friends . . . this was totally not about gardening!

But, it is about art, which is part of gardening, right? : )

Peace 'n' love, Sherri

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Sherri, I'm a big Pandora fan. I have it on my phone, as well, so I can listen on the go. I'll check out both songs!

EDIT: It's a lovely song! Sherri, if you like Hem I bet you'll like Nickel Creek. Have you heard of them?

Okay, okay...back to gardening and the stupid mosquitoes that keep us from it. :P

This message was edited Aug 3, 2010 9:15 PM

Hobart, IN

I have Rhapsody - comes with my Comcast service. Problem is that I never sit still long enough to "listen" to music. Normally I'm working outside of the home (but haven't for the past couple of years) so I never really got into the habit of listening to music. My old Mercury didn't come with a CD player and haven't found a "worthy" enough radio station to play in the car so I just listen to the news. No Ipod here.

Hobart, IN

Between the mosquitoes and the heat/humidity, I've stayed indoors this week and have resorted to cleaning kitchen cabinets. In-laws coming to town at the end of the month so of course I'm being OCD.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Cindy, I totally understand the OCD cleaning thing when company's coming! It seems to have lost its strength though as I age - I keep my house reasonably clean and if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for my guests! (Although I do give a few extra swipes for company!)

I've been staying in the last couple of weeks, too, for the same reasons - heat, humidity, mosquitoes - and now the yellow jackets are coming out! It feels like a jungle out there!

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

i ditto that. I go out before the sun comes up over the trees and water all my containers so they're not drooping before noon and back inside. Between mosquitoes making breakfast lunch and dinner out of me, I hate seeing what the hundreds of JB's have been doing to the hardy hibiscus and the roses, and the numidity is unbearable this year.

Am I really getting older?????

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Yeah, we all are - but, it's a good thing! Things seem to roll off your shoulders more instead of bugging you. I think as you age you realize a lot of those things are just not important!

Hobart, IN

I did hear a rumor that it's supposed to be waaay cooler next week. My brother mentioned the 70's. Could it be???
Yes, I probably shouldn't kill myself cleaning kitchen cabinets but then it's done for the fall and the big T-day dinner. And, my MIL can be snarky. Oops - did I say that?

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

LOL!! These things just kinda slip out . . . : )

Wow, in the 70's next week??? Cool!

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

That is what I saw on out news for us, too 70's all week and 60's at night I can open the windows.........

But first another day like today only a tad warmer tomorrow, Scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and sunny 79 on Sunday. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

I think we are all singing the same song,darn heat and humidity ,Yes its killing me this year,umm cause Iam another year older...NAHH iTS just stinking HOT !!!!! We are not having much trouble with mosquitos or JBs,we did ,but the skeeters are not bad and we have a wetland ,well go down there and its another story though!!!!! Iam just doin what I gotta do water a bit,and pickin maters.Maybe a motorcycle ride over the weekend if it cools down a bit.Ive pulled a lot of flowers I ended up hating,and we had a small wind shere thing a week ago weds,blew the camper into the shed ,blew over a bunch of my tall flowers really tore some stuff up.

Hobart, IN

Yikes - looks like the WI folks are getting dumped on again today. I do hope there's some rain left though in those clouds by the time they get here. Everything's been breaking up and no rain for us. The sky has been so blue this week that you'd think it would be cooler than it is.
hugger - Sorry to hear about the wind thing. Scarey.
The skeeters here have moved down into the lower garden this week to be closer to the wetlands and to stay cooler. I did have to make a very quick trip down there yesterday to the compost pile. Would love to sift through the darned thing now that there's compost but I know the mosquitoes would drive me crazy. I just plan a day down there next week and spray myself down with Off.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

You know what's really getting me this year? Aside from the heat/humidity/mosquito problem, I've got WEEDS from HELL. They're huge, and they spring up overnight, it seems. I was gone on business for 4 days and when I returned my yard looked like something you'd expect to see outside a haunted house. Now, granted, I haven't been out weeding in a while, but it wasn't quite THAT bad when I left, I swear.

Anyone else having a banner year for weeds? I just can't keep up. My mom's garden is the same--overrun--so I know it can't be just me. I wish I had more energy and a better ability to deal with the heat and bugs so I could get my arse outside and fix this mess. Maybe next week...

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

My yard's actually been OK weedwise, but I think it's because I promised myself to not till the soil and disturb it as little as possible when planting something. You know what? That REALLY WORKS!

But . . . my neighbor has - instead of lawn - a large backyard sized weed patch and I am not kidding - they're about 5 to 6 feet high. I did have to do a bit more weeding where our property joins his. He's actually a nice guy - very quirky in that every year, he has a new animal species to save. For instance, last year it was ducks. Before that, I think it was rabbits. This year it's cats. He gathers all the strays and goes and buys them from pet shops to save them. Anyway, we could easily call him out about the weeds because of the muni code, but . . . nah! : )

Hobart, IN

Just normal weeds here after the MAJOR weed-pulling in the spring. Last summer I had added compost (really decomposed leaves, etc that never get "hot") and dug up about 2/3 of my lower garden. This past spring I had such a carpet of weeds that it was solid green. Took a week to pull them all. I normally don't do a lot of cultivating unless the soil gets crusty (which it does without mulch) or I'm planting. Normally my biggest weed problem is the cottonwoods that sprout from all of those floating seeds. Had a bumper crop this year and enough rain to get them sprouted very quickly.

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I don't till. Never have. But this yard was so overrun with weeds when I bought the place that I guess I've never been able to eradicate them. My mom, however, has never had a weedy yard, and this year it's completely insane with weeds.

Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Oh, Kayly, that must be so hard to deal with! Maybe if you just vigilantly pull weeds for a couple of years and try not to even step on the soil too much, they'll lessen. How long have you had the property?

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