Most spiders are nocturnal, so you may not know they’re present in your garden, save for the spider webs. Mosquitoes are also most active at night, but most people assume they’re only present in gardens with tall grass and water features. Interestingly, both creatures can survive in different environments, including rock gardens.
Rock gardens attract spiders or mosquitoes because they have many hiding spots and provide cover from the scorching sun. Spiders frequent rock gardens because many bugs live under the rocks, and the wet areas underneath the stones are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
While rock gardens may not be the typical environment for mosquitoes and spiders, they can still attract them for various reasons. I’ll highlight these reasons in the rest of this article, and also discuss what you can do to keep mosquitoes and spiders from your rock garden.
How Rock Gardens Attract Spiders or Mosquitoes
If you want to control mosquitoes and spiders in your garden, you may assume that rock gardens are the safest option. While this may be true to some extent, rock gardens are attractive to spiders and mosquitoes for different reasons.
Here are the reasons why rock gardens attract spiders and mosquitoes:
There Are Numerous Hiding Spots
Spiders and mosquitoes are nocturnal and attracted to gardens because of the numerous hiding spots. Rock gardens have many hidden spaces where mosquitoes and spiders stay, especially during the day. Mosquitoes tend to dry out when exposed to direct sunshine for long hours.
Spiders tend to develop more elongated bodies to defend themselves against sunshine exposure. However, when they have somewhere to hide against the sun, spiders will seek shelter. Rock gardens provide the shelter spiders and mosquitoes need during the day.
The Gardens Are Usually Undisturbed
Spiders and mosquitoes inhabit spaces with minimal activities. They like quiet places with no human activities. Rock gardens have become popular because they’re low maintenance. So, they’re the perfect habitat for mosquitoes and spiders.
Mosquitoes and spiders can live in rock gardens comfortably for weeks without human interference. You may not even be aware of their presence until their population becomes too big to ignore.
Many people don’t even realize the problem is the rock garden. Instead, they blame the plants and any stagnant water in the area.
Rockeries Retain Moisture
Mosquitoes are attracted to rock gardens because the area underneath the rocks remains moist for a long time. There’s no water loss through evaporation, which is one of the reasons why rock gardens need to have soils that drain well.
These areas are ideal living and breeding spaces for mosquitoes. The rocks are also warm and humid, so the mosquitoes can live comfortably for a long time.
There Are Large Bug Populations
Spiders are attracted to gardens with large bug populations. The nooks and crannies are great hiding places for bugs. Spiders feed on moths, flies, mosquitoes, and sometimes other spiders, so their food supply is endless under the rocks in your garden.
If your rock garden has moss or weeds, more bugs will turn your garden into their home. Therefore, you can control the bug population by reducing the moss and weeds in your garden.
Moreover, you could also use a bug control spray that kills the following:
- Lady beetles
- Many other bugs
When sprayed generously, it controls bugs in your garden for up to 12 weeks.
How to Control Spider Populations
Spiders may not be as much of an issue in rock gardens as they are in other gardens, but this doesn’t mean they’re less of a nuisance.
Consider these tips to control the spiders in your rock garden:
Peppermint Essential Oil
Add 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil to the water. Use a spray bottle to spritz water all over the rock garden. Pay close attention to spaces between rocks where spiders hide.
For the remedy to be effective, you should change the scent regularly. Other options include lavender, rose, and tea tree oil.
You can also sprinkle cinnamon across the garden. Spiders detest the smell of cinnamon. Besides the powder, you can use cinnamon oil or cinnamon-scented candles if you spend time outdoors in the evening.
Using a white vinegar solution is another option. This remedy will be effective if you pour some through the spaces in your rock garden. Avoid spraying the vinegar on the rocks because the stains can be unsightly.
Yellow Sodium Vapor Lights
Spiders like dark spaces, so they avoid areas with bright lights. However, the insects they feed on are attracted to lights. You can keep them off your garden by using bug lights instead of white, bright LED lights.
Avoid Certain Types of Mulch
Avoid mulching your plants with wood dust and pine bark mulch. Insects that they feed on are attracted to these mulches. Mulch is also a source of warmth and shelter, and is an excellent hiding place for mosquitoes and other bugs.
Spider Web Removal
Removing the spider webs is the mechanical way of controlling spiders in your rock garden. The webs hold spider sacs and spiderlings, which would increase the spider population significantly. You’ll also identify new spider activities while eliminating all the spider webs in your rock garden.
You could also use citrus scents to deter spiders. Mix lemon or orange juice with water in a spray bottle. Spray around the rock garden and plants to repel spiders.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Out
Mosquitoes can be a problem, especially if you spend time in your garden in the evenings. Moisture is the biggest problem in rock gardens and the greatest attraction for mosquitoes.
If you want to control the mosquitoes in your garden, you can do the following:
Use Well-Drained Soil
First, ensure your rock garden has well-drained soil. If your garden has clay soil, add sandy soil to improve the drainage. If you don’t have plants in your rock garden, or if you’re using containers, you can use sandy soil in the rock garden without risking damage.
You can also use fertile soil in containers.
Bring Plants Indoor During Rain
Move potted plants indoors during the rainy season. Potted plants tend to collect water, and the soil remains wet for an extended period. Mosquitoes will soon hover around this wet area.
Eliminate Stagnant Water
Check for discarded items that can collect water in your rock garden. These include buckets, toys, and flower pots.
Mulch slows evaporation and encourages mosquitoes to live in the garden. If you have plants in your rock garden, avoid mulching them to help reduce the mosquitoes in the area.
Choose Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Grow plants that repel mosquitoes around your rock garden. Mosquitoes loath the smell of lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, mint, lemon balm, and marigolds.
Use a household bleach and water solution to remove moss from the rocks in your garden. If the stones are large, scrub them and rinse the moss off with a garden hose.
Use an Electric Mosquito Zapper
A mosquito-zapping device uses a high-intensity lamp to attract mosquitoes, bugs, and other insects. Be sure to get one that is easy to use and clean and has a long enough electric cable.
This YouTube video gives 15 tips on how you can get rid of mosquitoes in your garden:
Benefits of Mosquitoes and Spiders
Many people work hard to get rid of mosquitoes and spiders in the garden. Despite your efforts, they’ll keep returning to your garden when the garden conditions are favorable.
However, mosquitoes and spiders are not all bad, and they play important roles in your garden, such as:
- Mosquitoes are pollinators. Blood may seem to be their primary food source, but it’s not. Mosquitoes feed on flower nectar. They also transfer pollen from plant to plant.
- Hummingbirds, bats, and dragonflies eat mosquitoes. So, you cannot overlook the importance of mosquitoes in the ecosystem.
- Spiders aid with pest control in the garden. They eat mosquitoes, flies, aphids, beetles, wasps, and moths. Some spiders also eat other spiders.
- Birds use spider webs to make their nests.
- Spiders attract birds to your garden.
- Spiders aren’t just predators. They’re also prey to lizards, frogs, toads, and squirrels. The absence of spiders in your garden means some animals and insects that feed on spiders will disappear from your garden.
This helpful YouTube video analyzes garden spiders and their benefits:
Rock gardens have become quite popular because they’re decorative and low maintenance. Unfortunately, they also attract pests, such as mosquitoes and spiders. If you have a rock garden around your house, it might explain the sudden influx of spiders and mosquitoes.
It’s difficult to eliminate mosquitoes and spiders entirely if there are bugs in your garden. Fortunately, you can take measures to control the bugs, which naturally reduce the presence of mosquitoes and spiders in your rock garden.