Mosquito’s are known for their annoying bug bites and their ability to breed anywhere you travel in the hot months throughout the year. However, there are ways to prevent mosquito’s from disturbing your daily lives. Home mosquito control is all about prevention and limiting the mosquito’s ability to breed and spread disease. Whether you decide to do it organically or chemically is up to you. Hopefully, these few tactics will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without any mosquito concerns. Before optimal home mosquito control can be achieved, you have to understand that controlling the mosquito population begins with the eradication of possible breeding areas for the female mosquito’s.
Prevention Around the Home
Even before you step outside though, check and make sure that all the windows and doors seal completely when they are closed. It is suggested that every window and door in your house has a screen in front of it to prevent any intrusions from the pesky mosquito’s. Now, once you get outdoors, the first thing you have to do is check for places that could be a breeding ground for mosquito s. Females can lay their eggs in even an inch of water, so basically, anything that can hold water is a possible breeding area. Common breeding grounds for mosquito’s are found all over. For instance, tree holes can collect rainwater allowing for easy nesting. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of this is to consult a local tree service. Yard equipment such as a bucket or flower pot can hold water, so be sure to drain pots often and turn over all equipment to allow for the rain to run off. Tarps that lie around the yard or cover your boat can collect water in pockets, but if you tighten and check them often, water build-up can be prevented. Toys and rain gutters are also susceptible to stagnant water so turn over your sons toy truck and clean the rain gutters of leaves in order to prevent possible holding grounds of water. Puddles are unavoidable, but drainage or a change in the landscaping can lessen your chances of a growing mosquito population.
Now that you took the first step in getting rid of these pests, you can learn how to add natural mosquito control additions to your yard to lessen the chances of mosquito invasions. First of all, don’t jump into the extermination of animals such as frogs and bats because they are natural predators of mosquito’s. Planting citrosa (the mosquito plant) has proved to be somewhat effective in mosquito control, yet if you are outdoors, you can rub the leaves that contain citronella oil on your skin to act as a natural bug spray. Also, if you happen to have a small pond, the Gambusia is a small fish that feeds on mosquito larvae, so despite the standing pond water, mosquito control is successful. Plus, dragonflies feed on mosquito’s and their larvae. The pond can add a decorative edge to your landscape, as well as provide a home to two natural mosquito killers. Another natural way to rid your home of mosquito’s is citronella candles. They come in the form of Tiki torches, bucket candles, and regular oil. Also, Planet Natural provides natural pest repellents such as Orange Guard which controls insect populations, and Safer BioNeem kills insects before they can become pesky reproducing adults.
For those of you that don’t find natural solutions effective enough to solve your mosquito problems, there are many ways to trap and extinguish those troublesome mosquitoes. First off, mosquito dunks are useful for their ability to kill mosquito larvae. The mosquito dunks are placed in small amounts of stagnant water and kill larvae before they become adults. The mosquito magnet or trap is another chemical solution to the bug issue. These traps are operated by propane gas and require Octenol or Lurex depending on the species and location of the mosquito. The trap combines carbon dioxide and Octenol to replicate human breath (a major mosquito attractant) to lure the pests in and then exterminate them. Mosquito netting and zappers also aid in the trapping of darned mosquito’s. Mosquito foggers allow for temporary relief from mosquito interference by killing the adult population quickly. Mosquito spray is a residual spray that targets areas where mosquito’s lay during the day. Use this spray in places such as under bushes or in dark, moist areas, but be careful to read the directions carefully so that there are no toxic effects on local plant life. For a more permanent solution you can have a professionally installed mosquito misting system.
Finally your yard is prepped for proper home mosquito control, but for personal mosquito control, here are a few tips. When getting dressed for outdoor activities, keep in mind that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors and floral prints so plan accordingly. Also, strong scents such as sweet perfume, suntan lotion, and hairspray attract mosquito’s. Lose the fragrances, and enjoy the smells of nature. Did you know that mosquito’s can detect human breath from up to 75 feet away? They really can find you, so don’t breath when you go outside. Joking aside, consider doing strenuous activity inside to avoid being an easy mosquito target. Another way to steer clear of mosquitoes is to schedule outdoor activities in the middle of the day rather than in the morning or at dusk when mosquito’s are most populous. Lastly, bug repellents such as the classic DEET is always a good source of personal mosquito control.
With these mosquito control tips, you can be assured that the great outdoors will be enjoyed with a little less company from irritating mosquito’s. Have a great outdoor experience!
By far the biggest problem with mosquitoes is the fact that they will bite humans. I am sure you are more than aware of this fact. If you have spent any time outdoors in the summer, you have been bit.
After a mosquito bites you it will leave behind a really irritating bite mark. It can be itchy for days. Worst of all though are the illnesses that can be transmitted through mosquito bites. This is why getting a mosquito killer is a good idea.
Home Mosquito Control – Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?
According to Google.com both female and male mosquitoes feed on nectar of flowering plants. So why do they need to bite humans then, if not for food? The female mosquitoes need blood to be able to reproduce. Without the iron and protein found in blood, she will be unable to create eggs. In some cases the female mosquito will also use for the blood for subsistence instead of nectar. Most of these female mosquitoes will seek victims to feed on during dusk and dawn. This is when the wind dies down and it is easier for them to fly. The lack of wind also makes it easier to detect where carbon dioxide and other attractants are coming from. Make sure are using mosquito repellent during these times if you do not want to get bit.
Why Do The Bites Itch?
In order for the mosquito (or any blood sucker) to extract the blood from its host, it must stop the blood clotting system. To do this mosquitoes inject their saliva into their host. This saliva contains certain proteins that halt the immune system and blood clotting. This allows the blood to then freely flow into the mosquito’s proboscis and into its abdomen. At no point does the mosquito actually suck blood. Thus, if you pinch your skin to trap them while they are feeding on you, they will not burst as the old myth says they will. The mosquito saliva will halt its host immune system in the area for only a short time. Once your immune system realizes something is wrong, your body will release histamines and cause the area to swell up. The irritated, swelled blood vessels in the bite area is what causes the itchy sensation. You can thank for your body for the itchy sensation, not the mosquito.
When enjoying the outdoors you have probably noticed that mosquito populations are denser in some locations compared to others. Understanding when and where you will find mosquitoes can help you make the best use of mosquito killers and repellents.
Marshes and Standing Water
You will find the most dense mosquito populations around wet area where there is standing water. Marshes are very popular breeding grounds, but smaller pools of water are also common. Every stage of a mosquito’s life revolves around being near water, and that is why you will often find them near wet locations.
Mosquito Life Cycle
Mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs in stagnant fresh water, and they do not need a lot of water to do this. They prefer to lay their eggs in water that will be undisturbed and sheltered from the wind. Prime locations can be cans, barrels, troughs, ponds, swimming pools, puddles, ditches, and in marshes. Female mosquitoes will lay one egg at a time, in large clumps of 200-300 eggs. These clumps are known as egg rafts and float on the surface of the water.
The mosquito larva will hatch from the eggs within 24 hours. During the second part of a mosquito’s life the larvae feeds and swims in this water. The larva will consume algae and bacteria that reside on the surface of the water. They are filter feeders, and actually do a really good job of cleaning up polluted water. If you want to get rid of mosquito larva you can get some water treatment killer, or introduce some mosquito fish to the water.
After the larva has grown and shed its skin four time, it will begin to pupate. In the pupa form, mosquitoes are known as tumblers. They float on the surface of the water as they make their transformation into an adult mosquito. They get the name tumbler from the fact that, when disturbed, they will dive into the water and tumble back to the surface.
Eventually they will break free of their pupa shell and emerge from the water and take to the sky as an adult mosquito. The goal of the female mosquito is now to find a blood meal, mate, and lay eggs. Thus, repeating the cycle. Throughout all of the mosquito’s life cycle, it only leaves the water for a brief period of time in this adult stage, mainly to find blood.
What Mosquitoes are Attracted To?
Knowing what attracts mosquitoes can help us understand how to keep them away. We can avoid behavior, and locations that will normally draw mosquitoes out. It will also help us to know when to use mosquito killer or repellent.
Some mosquito traps, and bug zappers, will make use of attractant to draw mosquitoes to them. By knowing what attracts mosquitoes, we can overpower their senses. The result is that mosquitoes go towards the traps and stay away from us.
Human breath and perspiring skin will release carbon dioxide. So, the more you are heavily breathing and sweating the more likely you will attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have very sensitive receptors for carbon dioxide. Many traps will release carbon dioxide. Octenol is another by product of breathing, and it commonly used as a store bought mosquito attractant.
Mosquitoes also have sensitive receptors for detecting body heat. Blood circulating through warm blooded animals will radiate heat and attract mosquitoes. This lets them know a blood meal is nearby, and they will seek it out.
Breath and sweating skin from mammals will contain water vapor. Mosquitoes can sense this, along with heat and carbon dioxide, and will move towards it. Mosquitoes also like humid areas because they breed in moist locations.
When within 30 feet, mosquitoes are very sensitive to movement. They can detect movement by changes in light surrounding objects. The change in light would suggest that the object is moving.
Mosquitoes prefer darkness. That is why you find the highest population of them at dawn, dusk, and at night time. You can also find them in the day within dense wooded areas where little light comes through. Dark clothing can also attract mosquitoes.
Lactic acid is common in all mammals. It is used in many biochemical processes, especially when exercising. Mosquitoes seem to be attracted to this substance, and some mosquito traps even use lactic acid as an attractant.
Getting Rid of Mosquito’s
If you really want your life to be mosquito free, you can try some of these tips to get rid of mosquitoes. The more you learn about what mosquitoes like, what attracts them and what drives them away, the more likely it is that you will be able to combat them and be able to meet your goal: to get rid of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have a strange fashion sense. They are attracted to dark colored clothing. If you are going to be outside, and may be exposed to them, wear light colored clothing. This is probably because mosquitoes don’t see very well and a large, dark object is probably more easily spotted by them. And, if a mosquito targets another host, it may not be dead (and that is first choice), but it will get rid of mosquitoes who bite you.
Too Sweetly Scented
Avoid perfumes, colognes, after-shave and other scented cosmetics. Mosquitoes are attracted to many of them. No one knows exactly which ones they like, so the best plan is to avoid all of them if you know you are going to be outside. After all, you wear these products to make yourself more attractive to humans. But if you are covered in whelps and scratching furiously, you probably score down quite a few points on the attraction scale. While it isn’t a means to mosquito kill, it does let you get rid of mosquitoes that are targeting you!
Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Human breath contains a form of alcohol, even if you have had nothing alcoholic to drink. Mosquitoes are attracted to all of the chemicals in exhalation. Drinking alcoholic beverages just enhances the effect. That wonderful cooling Daiquiri is mosquito bait, so stick with iced tea.
If you are going to be outside, wear long sleeves, long pants, and keep exposed skin to a minimum. For campers, hikers and backpackers, this is especially true. And, if you are going to be sleeping outdoors, be sure to get a good tent that keeps them out. One of the best we have seen is a a tent that you can inflate. And, don’t forget that mosquito nets are a great way to protect yourself too. Nets aren’t just for campers, homeowners can also get mosquito nets for the patio, that will cover an entire table, and they are really attractive.
Keep all standing water out of your yard. Ponds and water features with still water are like a mosquito Club Med. The female will seek out still water to lay her eggs. Even with moving water, like streams, the female will find a pocket of still water and lay the eggs in a place where the eggs will not be affected by the current. And, any amount of standing water is enough. Even a small bottle cap with water in it is a potential mosquito farm.
Just think about how many larvae a plant saucer can hold. Unless you are using Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits, change water daily in birdbaths, pet bowls, and other outside water containers. Be sure your gutters are kept clear and draining well. And, if you can, find a way to keep water moving in birdbaths and ponds.
Keep brush and fallen leaves cleared away. Mosquitoes like to rest and hide in shady areas with lots of cover. Even day feeders, Asian tiger mosquito, hang out in moist shady spots while waiting on a meal. A mostly sunny yard means fewer places for them to hide, so consider keeping your yard more exposed to sun than shade.
During mosquito season, supplement your diet with vitamin B-1. For some reason, it serves as a repellent to them. Consult your doctor or pediatrician for the proper dose and usage.
Bananas Off Limits
Mosquito season is not the time for eating bananas. No one knows why, but mosquitoes love what bananas do to your body chemistry. Leave that banana split for winter, if you want an additional way to discourage them.
Encourage natural predators in your yard. Birds, frogs, toads, lizards, bats and especially dragonflies all help to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard. Unfortunately, mosquitoes don’t have any natural predators that could be a challenge to the species, just a few kinds of wildlife that at least get rid of some of them. Just think of attracting these animals as one more weapon you can use to get rid of mosquitoes. Invite as many as you can, it can’t hurt.
If you want to have a pond or other water feature in your yard, stock it with fish. Mosquito fish will eat the mosquito larvae and help to provide a natural control to limit mosquito populations. And, don’t forget to add some Mosquito Dunks, they will kill the mosquito larvae, but leave the fish unharmed. Mosquito fish are a great way to get rid of mosquitoes, they can consume up to 100 larvae a day.
The verdict is still out on this strategy. Some people swear by mosquito plants as good repellants. Others say the plants don’t do a thing to repel mosquitoes. So, experiment. Instead of planting these plants to repel mosquitoes, decide if you want them in your landscape because you like them, whether or not they repel mosquitoes.
And don’t forget to plant marigolds. They have a natural mosquito repellent effect because of their pungent aroma. Marigolds look attractive in the landscape, and are easy to grow, so add a few to your flowerbed. Again, plant them because you want them in your yard, not because they will repel all mosquitoes. The common factor in using these plants to repel mosquitoes seems to be that you must crush the leaves to release the aromatic substances that serve as mosquito repellents. While some of these tips may, or may not, get you the desired result, to get rid of mosquitoes easy to implement and at least worth trying if you are going to qualify as a serious mosquito warrior.