Mosquitoes in hydroponic herb garden

newbiehydroSeptember 21, 2009

I just purchased a simple Aerogarden (a commercially-packaged hydroponic garden) and am trying to grow a few herbs. Unfortunately, since about a week after initial planting, we have been kept up nights by mosquitoes, and I suspect that they are breeding in the Aerogarden despite the bubbling action in the reservoir.

I have two questions:

1) Does it seem plausible that mosquitoes are indeed breeding in the Aeorgarden?

2) Various posts here and elsewhere have suggested Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), but I could not tell from those posts whether it was considered safe for treating water used to grow food plants. Is Bti considered safe for treating water used to grow herbs? If not, are there other solutions out there?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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grizzman

the best way to keep mosquitoes out is to cover all openings so they can't get in. go buy some porch screen at the hardware store and just cut piece to fit where needed. cut a circle with a slit in the midlle to cover your net pots.
It will also keep the new mosquitos (inside the garden) there and eventually they will die.
That's how I handle such things.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 8:57AM
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joe.jr317

I use Bt in my rain barrels, which is what I use for hydro. It's also used in agriculture as a spray and is a pesticide of choice for many low impact gardeners. Now, much seed is now genetically modified with Bt (Monsanto). A dab will do ya. I use an 1/8th of a "donut" in my barrels. It's all about surface area rather than amount of water.

Mosquitoes will breed in my ebb and flow system if I don't use Bt treated water. So I don't see why they wouldn't breed in the aerogarden. Of course, the larvae are easy to ID, so just check. They will be little things about a quarter inch or less long that swim by whipping their tails around. Bt only kills larvae since the adults won't ingest it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 3:03PM
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newbiehydro

Thank you both very much for your thoughts. They were quite helpful.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:04PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

I'm here a little late, so it seems. Add one drop of oil to the surface of whatever water is housing the mosquitos. It spreads over the surface of the water and prevents the larva from breathing. No air = no mosquitos!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 1:58PM
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joe.jr317

I tried that, Freeman, with a 5 gallon bucket. Not in a hydro setup. When one drop did nothing I tried several. The oil just stays in one isolated blob on the surface if there isn't enough oil to coat the surface. Am I missing something? I've heard your idea from others in the past for tires and such. I tried vegetable oil and motor oil. Same results on each.

One more thing about the oil is that I suspect it could coat the roots as the level of water drops in an aerogarden and it will just stick to the plants/containers as water recedes in an ebb and flow. That will inhibit nutrient/water uptake won't it? I don't know that for certain, though. I'm totally speculating here.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 3:32PM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Instead of oil, you can cover the surface area with polystyrene pellets or chips. Just make sure the layer is at least 1" thick, and that there are no sneak acces areas to the water's surface.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 1:29AM
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