Larchmont-Mamaroneck Healthy Yards Project 

Enjoy beautiful low-maintenance gardens, vibrant lawns, delightful birds and butterflies along with cleaner air and water by avoiding the use of pesticides or herbicides.

The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Healthy Yards Project is dedicated to presenting safe and easy alternatives for living with outdoor spaces that thrive. Whether you work with landscape professionals, tend to your own yard or cultivate a container garden, we invite you to enjoy the advantages of making it healthy.

Pesticides and herbicides have been proven to have a negative effect on the health of our families, pets, even pollinators. They contaminate our waterways and disrupt the ecosystem that can normally reduce damaging plants and insects in our yards naturally. Join your neighbors and take the Healthy Yard Pledge. Visit www.LMHealthyyards.org regularly for guidelines, examples and information about Healthy Yard community activities.

MITIGATING MOSQUITOES WITHOUT SPRAYING

As we welcome the warmer days of spring, residents become increasingly concerned about the return of mosquitoes to our yards and parks.  Personal protection by way of clothing and gentle repellent applied to skin is essential, but there are several non-toxic steps you can take to reduce the irritating presence of these insects. 

Remove standing water from your yard.  Mosquitoes only lay eggs in stagnant water and one female mosquito can lay 100 eggs in a tiny amount. Be diligent about removing those breeding grounds from your property. Regularly inspect waste containers, toys, garden ornaments, outdoor furniture, planters, gutters, yard debris, drains and tarps to eliminate standing water.

Avoid saturating your lawn and garden. Deep, infrequent watering - an inch or two of depth twice each week - encourages deep roots for a healthy lawn that can withstand the stress of hot dry weather later in the summer.  Soaking more often can weaken plants and create additional breeding areas for mosquitoes.

Use safe and effective Mosquito Dunks.  These small doughnut shaped disks contain a naturally occurring bacteria (BTi) that is harmless for people, animals and birds, but prevents mosquito larvae from hatching.  They are inexpensive and widely available at hardware stores and through online retailers.  Place a mosquito dunk in problem areas where water accumulates and replace approximately every 30 days.  Dunks can cut the mosquito population by more than 90% in 48 hours and up to 85% for 28 days.

Some residents find relief by placing fans in outdoor areas since mosquitoes are too weak to fly into the air current.  Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are known to repel these insects.  They can be mixed into water to be sprayed around windows, doors and outdoor seating areas.  Aromatic plants like citronella and basil are also known to deter mosquitoes.

Natural predators include dragonflies, bats and some fish.  The Westchester Department of Health has even provided free minnows to residents with ponds and water features to reduce the occurrence of West Nile virus. 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving.  As seen in the photo below, a basket of mosquito-repelling flowers makes a great Father's Day or graduation gift or... just to show you care!



Flowers that repel mosquitos

What’s ahead?

 Announcements about Healthy Yards activities, resources and community events.  

Guidelines for choosing and working with landscape professionals. 

Safe alternatives for maintaining a beautiful garden without pesticides or herbicides