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In the spring and summer, I get far too many flying insects infesting my garden, particularly in the early evening.

It appears to be a local mating area for many species and it is very annoying.

As an experiment, I've started trying to reduce the numbers by using a bug-zapper to see if this will have a knock-on effect in later years.

I can kill a hundred insects in one session with the zapper, but there is one species that forms a "cloud" that all seem to just randomly move around. The cloud is probably 300 individuals or more. Since the motion appears to have no purpose, this is what I assume to be mating behaviour. If I can kill them as they are about to reproduce, I think I might achieve my goal of smaller numbers next year.

The "cloud" seems to move with a certain amount of "wisdom of crowds" though, because as I move near with my zapper, they fly higher to be out of reach.

I want some method to be able to easily destroy the entire cloud at once - or the majority of them at least.

I have tried 1) Spraying them with a hose 2) Using a "weed-wand" to send flame into the air 3) Putting bug-zapper on a long pole

Number 3) Worked a little - but they just moved even higher after a while.

I have access to many tools and pieces of equipment. I'm also happy to spend a certain amount of money if necessary to reduce the problem.

Please help!

  • I too get large numbers of small flying insects at this time of year, but then there will always appear a large number of small birds that eat them. So, I see no problem. – Chenmunka Apr 26 at 14:35
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    Too bad you feel you have to use pesticides when it's food for natural predation by birds and other insects. Can you attract birds or spiders (whose webs can capture). They would appreciate the meal on the wing. – Stan Apr 26 at 14:45
  • @Stan I never mentioned pesticides. I don't really want to use chemicals and I don't think they would be effective airborne in an open space anyway. I do get a lot of spiders in my garden but they tend to arrive later in the year when the worst of the insect problem has passed. My local birds don't really eat insects on the wing. – Lefty Apr 26 at 21:26
  • Sorry about the misunderstanding. I was clearly wrong and inferred it along with other ways to murder your guests. I hope a hungry flock of swallows (chuckle, chuckle) soon finds organic lunch. Good luck. – Stan Apr 27 at 0:22
  • @Stan I do occasionally get house martins spend about 5 minutes diving around in the garden and probably eating 50 between them. The main predator is probably bats, which turn up more often the birds. However, I have so many insects that, to get rid of them, the predators themselves would be an annoyance instead! – Lefty Apr 27 at 7:24
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you can buy a device which uses warm, moist CO2 as an attractant for mosquitoes. When they sense the plume of warm, moist CO2 they assume it is the exhalation of an animal containing blood, and fly towards it. when they get close to the device, they get trapped and zapped. I do not know if this technique works with insects other than mosquitoes.

You can also buy bugzappers that have vacuum fans built into them, which draw in the insects attracted by the UV light and zap them. These get used in places like big poultry growing operations.

The neatest solution I know of is to put a goldfish pond in your garden and string a bunch of 100 watt electric light bulbs (incandescent type, NOT LED's) above it. the lights attract the bugs, which get their wings burnt when they brush against the glass envelope of the bulb. They then fall into the pond, where the goldfish eagerly gobble them up.

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Have you tried to use an insect decoy as a deterrent to scare the tiny insects away?

Believe it or not, those tiny creatures are very aware of their surroundings. They can be scared away when they see a predator near them. Anyone who has seen a bird or dragonfly in action has witnessed crowds of insects dispersing PRONTO.

Enter Dragonfly Wingman which is a small decoy dragonfly that can disperse insects near you. You clip it to your hat or backpack to drive them away.

I did a Web search for insect decoy and found them at getyourbug.com

While they won't clear away your garden, they'll clear away from you when you're in your garden which accomplishes your purpose.

In addition, they (the insects) will be in a convenient location for the hungry birds, spiders, bats and other natural insect abatement to work efficiently.

Thirdly, there will be less poison in your food. You ARE growing things for yourself in your garden, no?

Good Luck

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  • There might be scope for using multiple decoys around the garden, but I'm certainly not going to be wearing one all the time I'm in the garden. I will investigate if I can buy them cheaply enough for an experiment. – Lefty Apr 27 at 12:04
  • @Lefty The decoys are for protecting you by repelling the bugs from you. Unless the decoy is in motion, the bugs will see through your ploy. Clip one onto your hat while you work in your garden. Your garden doesn't mind them. They don't eat much. The mice, and other lil critters will eat more than the flying no-see-ums. – Stan Apr 27 at 14:33
  • You don't have to wear these decoys - you can attach them to things like light springy metal or even string and hand around the garden where a slight breeze will make them move, and thanks for avoiding the pesticides. The whole ecological chain depends on the insects. Incidentally wasps kill many thousands of insects from spring to fall, without wasps your problem would be tenfold – Zaphod MAnn Apr 27 at 19:34

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