Who You Gonna Call? Mosquito 86!

Once again, the blogging gods have seen fit to send my way the manna of product reviews. This month, I received the Mosquito 86 to review. As was pitched by the representative of the company, the Mosquito 86 is “a new, innovative way to eliminate mosquitoes in a manner that has previously only been offered through professional mosquito and pest sprayers that use commercial sized foggers or truck-mounted systems.”

I.E. It is commercial grade pesticide.

I am not an organic gardener, though I do try to stick to mostly organic methods, mainly because I am a cheap ass part Scottish woman and you can’t get much cheaper than organic. But, I am not above using chemicals if I feel they are worth the cost and effort. So I said I would look at this product.

Beyond that, being a gardener/nature lover/without air conditioning, I regularly eat dinner with my family outside in the summer. Mosquitoes put a crimp in that lifestyle and I don’t particularly like to decide between battling blood sucking insects outdoors or being heated to the same temperature as my food indoors.

This seemed like it might be a good solution. Why not give it a try?

The box arrived as promised and my eldest son and husband assembled the contained system with no problems and without once having to refer to the directions, not that they would have if they needed to, but it was nice that the situation never came up.

While they assembled, I did read the directions and the box, and read the following “Kills mosquitoes (check), wasps (check), yellow jackets (check, check, check, check) and bees (ummmm…). Fortunately, it is late in the season. Most of my flowers are dead or fast fading, so bees don’t make forays into my yard at this time.

Mosquito 86My eldest, who is 12, donned the system and my husband and I immediately started to sing the theme song to Ghostbusters, though we were quickly reminded of our age when our son asked “what’s that song?” *Sigh* The loss of the high entertainment of my childhood is tragic.

And for those who may be concerned about the effects of the chemicals on my son, remember, this is the same stuff that your local city (at least mine, anyway) drives around and squirts into your front yards via truck. Here in Ohio, mosoquitoes are a concern due to West Nile.   This chemical has been found safe at reasonable levels (which we will be well below) for humans and pets.

My son sprayed the yard and a few hours later, we sat down to dinner. I have to admit, dinner seemed more mosquito free. It was certainly more yellow jacket free, and they had been a serious problem at dinner as of late.

So, would I recommend this product? That is a tough call. They had me right up until the box said “bees”. I need those in my garden, so this is not a product I could use regularly or even often. September would be the only month where I could even think about using this product. But, most of suburbia is not as dependant on bees as myself but they are certainly as plagued by mosquitoes and yellow jackets as I am. The average suburban home owner would find this to be an effective product.

In the meantime, I was pleased to see that Columbia Pictures has decided to release yet another Ghostbusters. At least then my movie references to my children will seem a little less obscure.

27 thoughts on “Who You Gonna Call? Mosquito 86!
  1. Sit your son down and force him to watch the two Ghostbusters movies (or at least the first)! I am absolutely shocked that he had no idea where that song came from, but then again, I grew up with it as well, hehe. It is your duty as a child of the 80’s to expose the great movies to your kids. Don’t forget about the Back to the Future Trilogy! 😀

    And I don’t know if I’d completely trust that IMDB page claiming that a Ghostbusters 3 is happening. That’s been a rumor for at least a decade or more and IMDB is mostly user-submitted content. I’d still love to see it happen.

    Haha, my reply is a little off-topic, isn’t it? Sorry ’bout that, but I felt really strongly about this tiny subject for some reason.


  2. Thank you for stating the part about “bees”
    I am no fan of the bee as I an allergic to the dt
    sting. But I have read some where that there
    is a loss the number of them, because of
    pesticides in general. We need them to keep
    the pollination process going.


  3. I had an epiphany about yellow jackets this year. Saw one take out a caterpillar munching on one of my plants in the garden. Saw him dive in and not fly out, followed by lots of movement. Looked closer and viola, he’s decapitating an inch long pest.

    “You and your brothers”, I said, “are welcome here”.


  4. So, how long does it last? If you could spray in the evening and not affect the bees the next day…..does it kill adult muskies, or the larvae?


  5. This will not kill mosquito larvae. They are aquatic.

    In fact, you should not put this pesticide near water, since it is known to be toxic to fish.


  6. A few things.

    1) Bees and other pollinators rely on late and early meals (often found in the garden) to make it through the cold months – so they are generally feeding on pollen as long as possible before the first frost – as long there are any food sources (flowers) left. In fact, those feeding periods (late fall, early spring) are some of the most important for beneficial insects. I would guess that bees and their pollinating relations are in your garden foraging until at least the first frost, whether you see them or not.

    2) Several species of wasps are beneficial insects in the garden. They are predators for a number of the most common garden pests.

    3) So-called “broad spectrum” pesticides, which it sounds like this one is, are chemicals that kill not only the target pest (mosquitoes, in this case) but also kill beneficials and neutral insects. An alternative to broad spectrum options are pesticides that target SPECIFIC pests. Incidentally, broad spectrum insecticides are more likely to be harmful to humans and other animals. There is a type of BT that is a pesticide that ONLY targets mosquito larvae. A quick google of “BT mosquito” will turn up several sources.


  7. While I understand that wasps are “benificial”, the problem is that they are agressive and they don’t just eat pests. Yellow jackets are a serious problem in my yard. I have kids who play in my yard and I like to eat outside.

    I am all for benifical insects, but when benifical insects start harming me and my family without direct provication (as yellow jackets do) then they become pests and I have to take steps to keep my family safe. While it may or may not be this step (as I like bees), there will be steps made to eliminate them from my enviroment.


  8. But if the city or whoever uses this stuff-arent they killing bees? does it persist in the environment and kill bees?
    I read a little on their website and they were a little vague.
    I live in so. ohio, west nile territory too. I really dont want to kill bees, but those other buggers seem to do just fine despite chemical intervention, LOL. It would be nice to know some more.


  9. Usually in areas where they do the truck sprays for mosquitoes, they do it at dusk, when honey bees are flying less.

    They do indeed kill some pollinators, but the timing and choices for the pesticide lets them at least try to minimize collateral damage.

    Note that the Bt mentioned above will only kill the larval form of the mosquito–it is not

    If Hanna will tolerate a cross-blog plug–I have several posts about mosquito control at my blog.

    You can find most of them linked to this post:


  10. Your still killing ALL beneficials and that is a sad state for your garden. Lets see what happens next year when most of your beneficials are gone and your garden is ravaged by bad bugs. They do and you probably know this things to get rid of the yellow jackets specifically. Most pesticides cause cancer and I hope your son is ok. I don’t trust what anyone says about pesticides, they aren’t safe.


  11. There has to be BALANCE. You cant not kill insects that are a threat because one beneficial might die. I provide habitat in my yard for beneficials of all sorts, but if I need to use a pesticide to kill a yellowjacket, or a mosquito to stay healthy, or prevent a crop I have spent good money and time cultivating, Im going to do it. All insect problems cannot be solved by pesticides or by letting beneficials (some of which are on benifecent at 1 stage in their life) run rampant. pests and helpers alike have survived habitat destruction and pesticides for years and years. And we now live in an age where we are lots more careful.
    My thoughts were originally-if we are seeing bees die and communities spraying for skeeters, is there a connection? If the stuff persists after spraying to kill muskies, would it not kill bees too? Thats why I asked how long the spray lasted.
    And why do communities not go out with BT dunks in the spring to ponds and wetlands etc. That has got to be cheaper than all that spraying after they are a problem.


  12. I agree, RNJen. Balance is important. To answer your question:

    Most biting mosquitoes are from standing water, not natural ponds and wetlands. Small pools of standing water from potholes, clogged gutters, and trash are the major breeding grounds for mosquitoes. That’s not easy to treat community wide. Homeowners and landlords have to participate.

    Bodies of water that are natural usually have fish and other inverts that prey on mosquito larvae, so they aren’t the primary source for biters of humans. (not all bugs bite people)


  13. Well, for instance, the pimary source of muskies in my neighborhood is an apartment pond. No fish, just a nasty pond. I bought dunks and threw them in myself.
    we live on the edge of town, there is an area with standing water that runs along railroad tracks-quite large. No fish etc, just a mucky garbage ridden swamp. The city is quite aware of it and that its a source. So they wait till people gripe, then spray. Half of the area is behind the city garage. Im aware of the trash aspect, but Im sure many communities have area like this where pre-emptive action could be taken to keep the population from exploding. They just dont do it. and dunks are cheap. Pass em out to the community to do the legwork, something. Instead they send the truck with the fog. I run like hell from that stuff. and if you have your windows open or breathing problems, heaven help you.
    And people are so foolish. I had a neighbor tell be he had a bee swarm on his hummingbird feeder yesterday. He sprayed yellowjacket killer on em. I told him they would have left on their own had he been a little patient. He looked at me like I was nuts. Im not a freaked out save the planet at all costs dont step on a spider person, but geesh, to kill a swarm of bees? Never.


  14. Your example illustrates the problem exactly–private property and neglect. That’s why I stressed “natural” ponds.

    Created ponds, usually for wetland mitigation, don’t function the same way.

    And entering someone’s property is verboten around here. You can drive down the street and spray toxins in the air, but try to do something non-toxic that violates property lines…beware.


  15. I’m so glad to find you. There’s pesticide in New Zealand which is said ‘safe’ to the environment as they use natural base, like pyrethrum. I use this when the aphids are getting really nasty and can’t be gotten rid off by the mixture of garlic and water (as much as I want to be organic). Our orchard is only sprayed with copper when we see curly leaves on plums, peaches, peacherines and nectarines. Garden issues, I think.


  16. There is a good deal of emerging research(1) which suggests that pesticides, such as pyrethroids, function as endocrine disruptors. We are just beginning to learn the full extent to which these chemicals harm fetal development and children’s reproductive systems(2).
    I understand the need for pesticides in commercial agriculture and public health programs but I avoid using them on my own property. The risk to my family just isn’t worth it.




  17. Plot_thickens on

    Natural biosystems regulate themselves. Like the Earth has been doing for millions of billions of years. “Quick, let’s disrupt a large part of it by spraying stuff that kills off entire subgroups of animals!”… “Heyyy, why are only a few of my squash blossoms getting pollinated?”

    It’s all connected, and if we work WITH the biosphere it will help us. Grabbing its wrist and putting it into a come-along hold will not make everything hunky-dory.

    There are things one can eat that makes skeeters less likely to bite, fish one can introduce, swamps one can plant celery in….


  18. except…we are not dealing with a natural system anymore.

    There are NOT things you can eat that make mosquitoes less likely to bite you. Multiple studies have shown that the chemistry of mosquito attraction is simply too variable for there to be a single solution. What works for you won’t work for me.

    And in your own statement, you discuss two introduced species, which is hardly the system regulating itself.


  19. I find it difficult to deal with the concept of an organic garden with pesticides of any type. That is the whole crux of the problem with the “Big O” (Big Industry Organic). They can certify something as organic while pesticides and chemicals are still used. Reference some of Michael Pollan’s works for these fun facts.

    I’ll restate what has been said in these comments just because there is not enough that can be said about it. Wasps, yellow jackets, bees… these are all very important parts of our ecosystem. Using these sprays, at any time of the day or night, leaves a residue on plants that affects other beneficial insects as long as the chemical remains on the plants or on the ground. In other words, if you spray in the evening thinking you aren’t hurting the bees, consider that bee getting into the same poison the next morning when it comes down in search of pollen.

    Finally, this same chemical kills all soft bodied insects. Beneficial parasitic wasps and spiders included. Also, it stays in the ground water transferring to the local water shed where it affects the general water supply and the vapor from the spray ruins any chances of success your neighbors who really are organically gardening are working toward.

    I’ll step off my soapbox now but hopefully the point is made despite the general anger and frustration.


    Jake Reply:

    Permethrin is not a groundwater hazard of any sort. It bonds very tightly to all organic soils.

    It also has an extremely low vapor pressure and poses NO risk of vaporization after application.

    It has a much reduced risk to bees after the initial application period.

    I love organic and green too. Permethrin does harm many beneficials, is a hazard to fish, and has many negatives.

    Do does being a uneducated “green” idiot. Stay off the soapbox for all of our sakes.


  20. I am not a fan of the mosquito either. Bees however are fantastic. I prefer to spray myself and my family with an organic repellent or use Bug off soap with citronella. Works great and smells really good too! When we come inside it is much easier to wash off the bug repellent than to bring back the population of bees.


  21. I’ve read a lot about balance on your posts. Creating balance naturally would be as simple as installing a bat box up in a tree in your yard. Bats can eat thousands of mosquitoes a night. Bats, (and birds) are natures way of creating balance. We don’t need pesticides, we need to look around and open our eyes. It has all been provided. And no bats won’t swoop down and get stuck in your hair. They are very peaceful creatures.


  22. Lisa at Greenbow on

    I don’t trust any pesticides even if “they” tell you it won’t harm humans or pets. However if I am having a big party I have a friend that has a similar gizmo come over and fog the garden a few hours before the party. It works for sure. I haven’t noticed any difference when the city truck goes around fogging. I find that annoying as it is loud and it stinks.


  23. Hello there,

    I just found your blog, and I’m adding it to my faves! We’re in the process of moving to a rural home where mosquitos are going to be an issue, but where I want to encourage butterflies and the pond frogs. There’s a wooden-box honey bee hive too, which I don’t want, but also don’t want to kill off. Have you found any products that just do in the mosquitos?


  24. Hey Vicky,

    If you want an eco friendly way to control mosquitoes, there are several things you can do.

    Mosquito Dunks are a safe way to control mosquitoes in standing water or ponds. Bats are also a fantastic way to reduce the mosquito population. Install a bat box or two up in the trees. They are also great fun to watch. Chickens also eat a ton of mosquitoes and other insects and will provide you with great eggs! If you want to encourage frogs and butterflies, a garden pond is a great way to attract them. They like moist, lushly planted areas. Butterflies also like rocks. A butterfly likes to suck salts from moist soil and warm their wings on a rock in the early morning before taking flight. Frogs will feed on insects of course, and they like to keep cool under the foliage of plants. The plants also keep them safe from predators. Good luck! PS- I would not get rid of the bees, they are very necessary.


  25. Thanks for the reply, Hanna! I’m not ready for chickens, but I like the idea of a bat box. There are loads of frogs in the area, but after the record rains we’ve had here lately it seems they can’t keep up with the mosquito population. A good part of the property is wetland, so I really need all the help I can get keeping the nasties at bay. I’ll check into the dunks.

    I just brought home a book from the library on bee keeping. If I think it’s manageable, maybe I’ll just move the hive out to the back of the property. It’s way too close to the deck for comfort, at least for me.

    I didn’t know that butterflies like rocks! The former owner had quite a few large ones in what I loosely call the landscaping, and I was going to move them anyway. So they’ll get placed in butterfly garden, eventually. Super ideas, thank you!



  26. I am glad to see the discussion on this topic. It was a good product to review if it opens up some discussion. 😉


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