Tip of the Month

Non-toxic Mosquito Control

The weather has turned warmer, and the days have gotten longer. It’s time for backyard cookouts, gardening, or relaxing on your deck/porch with a cool drink. But nothing ruins a beautiful summer evening more than mosquitos. CBE would like to share some simple, eco-friendly approaches you can take this summer to combat mosquitos.

It’s imperative to control standing water sources in your yard. If you have birdbaths, you should change the water every 3-5 days to prevent mosquito larva from hatching. In addition, ensure your gutters stay clear throughout the summer. You should use smooth downspout extenders, rather than those with ridges, to prevent water from building up in the ridges after it rains. This standing water inside downspout extenders can attract mosquitos. Empty flowerpots or other items that collect water should be stored upside down or in a place where they stay dry. The City of College Park also sells GAT traps to residents. These create controlled standing water sources in your yard that attract and capture mosquitos without harming other insects or wildlife. All the above actions will prevent mosquito larva from hatching and developing into biting adults.

Even if you take the above actions, you may still have unwanted mosquitos showing up in your yard. So how can you repel mosquitos and protect yourself from mosquito bites? Some plants naturally repel mosquitos. If you have an herb garden, planting rosemary, cloves, basil, and peppermint may help keep mosquitos away (and you can use these herbs for home cooking too!). If you have a deck/porch, you can use fans to keep a soft breeze blowing, which literally blows mosquitos away. To protect yourself, use eco-friendly, DEET-free insect repellents. These repellents contain ingredients like peppermint oil, citronella oil, and lemongrass oil to repel mosquitos. They have the added benefit of smelling nicer than repellents that use DEET.

The above recommendations do not require the use of harmful pesticides, which can negatively impact birds, bees, and other pollinators. Implementing some or all of these recommendations can help you enjoy more time outside this summer without swatting at mosquitos or scratching mosquito bites.

From the City's Committee for a Better Environment

New Legislation from the 2022 Maryland General Assembly for Animals in Maryland

The Maryland General Assembly passed five bills that greatly improve the welfare of animals in our state:

  • Cat Declaw Prohibition (SB67/HB22) - Maryland becomes the second state to ban this cruel and painful procedure except in medically necessary circumstances that involve the health of the cat.
  • Shelter for Dogs in Extreme Weather (SB44/HB16) - Requires that dogs left unattended in extreme weather have suitable shelter. This bill provides minimum standards to ensure that dogs are protected from the hazards of being left outdoors in adverse weather conditions.
  • Wildlife Trafficking Prevention (SB381/HB52) - Prohibits the sale of parts or products from a list of 15 endangered or threatened wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, and pangolins. Federal law already prohibits the import of these parts or products and their sale across state lines. Maryland joins 13 States and the District of Columbia in prohibiting these sales within our borders.
  • Cost of Animal Care (SB877/HB1062) - Requires individuals whose animals have been seized due to charges of cruelty or severe neglect to pay the cost of caring for the animals while the case is pending, lessening the cost burden on the shelter that cares for them, and potentially providing opportunities to be adopted into loving homes if the owner does not want to retain ownership while the case is pending. Maryland joins 38 states, including our neighbors, in passing this legislation
  • Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund Extension (SB206/HB191) - Authorizes the Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund for another ten years. Maryland was the first state to create this program in 2013 that uses fees paid by pet food companies for competitive grants to local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations to provide free and spay and neuter services to dogs and cats of low-income Marylanders and to colonies of feral cats.

From the City's Animal Control