Birdbaths are not only an attractive way to bring about decorative decor to your garden, but they also provide a much-needed water source for birds. Wisconsin bird lovers know that all birds need a dependable fresh, clean water source for drinking and bathing. Even birds that are not interested in seed, suet, or nectar may still visit a yard where a good birdbath or other backyard water source is available. But where we find birdbaths, we also find mosquitoes. This is because female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. This means that your birdbath can go from a beautifully designed carrier of clear, crisp water to a home for the next breed of bloodsuckers.
So how exactly can you keep your feathery friends happy without letting the mosquitoes win? Check out these simple tricks that will help keep your birdbaths clean and fresh so that you can continue to enjoy your love for nature but avoid the wrath of these nasty parasites.
Agitate the Water
One way to keep your birdbaths from being ruined is by adding what is called an agitator to your birdbath. An agitator “agitates” the water, keeping it in constant motion. Female mosquitoes cannot lay their eggs when water is in motion. Agitators are sold at most of your wildlife stores and while the birds won’t mind the agitated water, the mosquitoes will.
Good Old-Fashioned Cleaning
Not ready to invest in an agitator? The cheaper way to protect your birdbaths from mosquitoes is by cleaning it regularly. All you need are a few common household items you probably have.
- Garden Hose
- Wire Brush
- Rubber Gloves
- Cleaner (Bleach Solution)
To make the cleaning solution, mix one-part chlorine bleach with nine parts of water and mix in the basin of the birdbath. You may want to clean the birdbath on gravel or concrete as the solution will kill your grass if spilled. For a non-bleach mixture, mix one-part white vinegar with nine-parts water in the basin. Use the mix and wire brush to scrub and clean all surfaces of the basin by following the instructions below.
- Remove the basin and dump out the water
- Use the hose to give it a good rinse
- Apply the cleaning solution to scrub clean
- Use the wire brush to remove stuck-on seeds or other debris
- Allow the cleaning solution to soak for several minutes
- Pour out and rinse thoroughly with the garden hose
- Allow to dry, place the basin back on the pedestal, and fill with water
Use Mosquito Dunks
A mosquito dunk is a mosquito control unit that you place inside standing water to treat and control mosquito larvae for up to 30 days. It is, however, safe for birds, honeybees, fish, and other wildlife. You can usually find them online or in any garden center near you. Look for products that contain Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis or BTI. The dunks are effective for up to 30 days.
Employ Natural Predators
Natural mosquito hunters like bats, dragonflies, swallows, and fish can help with mosquito control. These organisms love to feed on adult mosquitoes and larvae. Place several birdhouses and bat houses around your yard to make mosquitoes think twice before choosing your yard to breed.
Your bird baths are now mosquito-proof, but what about the rest of your yard. There are many places mosquitoes can choose as an alternative to your birdbaths. Eliminate all standing water around your yard to prevent mosquitoes from using them. Standing water can be found lying in tires, toys, flower pots, gutters, puddles, patio furniture, and tarps. Be sure to drain the water from all of these sources to help keep mosquitoes out of your yard entirely.
To really control the mosquito population in your Wisconsin backyard, you need to call in the professionals at Buzz Off Mosquito. At Buzz Off Mosquito, we will perform a thorough inspection of your property to determine where mosquitoes may be living. Our trained technicians will work with you to schedule regular mosquito treatments using our customized application technique. Protect your birdbaths and the rest of your landscape with the ultimate solution and contact Buzz Off Mosquito now. Reach out to us online or call us directly at 715-281-3289. Looking for more tips and ideas on how to ward off mosquitoes? Follow our blog!