• Home Home

Gardener shares simple trick to keep your backyard free of mosquitoes: 'I'm going to try and replicate it'

"There are no mosquitoes in our backyard right now."

Simple trick to keep your backyard free of mosquitoes, Renter-friendly pond

Photo Credit: @alexisnikole / TikTok

Ponds can turn your backyard into your own private oasis, but they can also be a haven for mosquitoes. With just a few simple purchases, you can create a pond in your yard while keeping mosquitoes at bay.

The scoop

Gardener, forager, and TikToker Alexis Nikole Nelson (@alexisnikole) shared a video explaining how she created her "renter-friendly nature pond."


My backyard mini-pond!! And its renter friendly! This fall im gonna build a lil soil ramp so amphibians can better reach the water next year!

♬ original sound - Alexis Nikole

The "pond" is contained in a 150-gallon water trough. Nikole then filled the bottom of the trough with roughly an inch and a half of soil and clay, which she planted water lilies into.

Instead of buying clay, Nikole recommends unscented kitty litter, stating, "It's just clay. It's the same stuff you're going to be buying at the pond supply store, except they charge you five times as much."

Nikole's pond is bursting with greenery. Bulrush and cattail grow in pots with holes drilled in the bottom submerged in the pond. For rose mallow and wapato, Nikole opted for floating pots because these plants "like to be moist, but they do not like being in deep standing water," Nikole explains.

To keep the water moving and to attract birds, Nikole added two solar-powered floating fountains.

To prevent mosquitoes from swarming, Nikole recommends Mosquito Dunks. "I put like a quarter of one of these in each month," Nikole says. "They slow release a bacteria that doesn't let mosquito larvae digest food, so they die. There are no mosquitoes in our backyard right now."

How it's helping

Backyard ponds are great for the environment. They promote biodiversity, capture and store harmful emissions from the atmosphere, and reduce the amount of grass you have to water, mow, and fertilize.

The plants in Nikole's pond have attracted all sorts of critters to her yard. "Since they're native species, they have brought so much biodiversity in terms of butterflies and moths and other insects and birds," she explains, delighted. 

Birds sometimes bring duckweed to the pond, a free-floating plant that provides food to local flora. If the pond ever becomes overgrown with duckweed, Nikole says she can simply remove it and "use it as free fertilizer for the rest of my plants."

Native species aren't the only creatures nourished by the pond. "All of these [plants] are edible, so at the end of the season when I'm thinning these guys out, we get snacks!" Nikole says.

With just a few purchases, Nikole created a source of beauty and nourishment for herself and local wildlife.

What everyone's saying

Viewers were inspired by Nikole's DIY pond. "I love this and I'm going to try and replicate it," one wrote.

Some wanted to make sure the Mosquito Dunks wouldn't hurt other wildlife. "The mosquito dunks don't bother the other insects/animals that drink from it?" one commenter asked.

"I haven't seen any adverse effects on the bee population in my yard (if anything, we have more now), and the bacterium goes after fungus gnat, black fly, and mosquito larvae exclusively!" Nikole replied.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider