Mosquito Control Tips
Reduce Mosquitoes - Reduce Mosquito Bites!
Effective mosquito control involves a multi-pronged approach and should include a mosquito trap or two for some high tech protection.
Start by taking a good look at your yard! Find and eliminate standing water which serves as an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Personal protection with products like DEET or Picaridin, together with mosquito netting and screens plus a mosquito trap or two for some high tech protection will help make your yard a more pleasant place to be..
Interrupting the breeding cycle is one of the most effective long-term methods of controlling mosquito populations and reducing the risk from the diseases they carry. A trap will gradually reduce your mosquito population as it attracts, traps and then destroys them.
Mosquito traps aren’t a quick fix, but a long term solution. It may take 6-8 weeks of continuous use to reduce the mosquito population to the point that you have successfully interrupted the breeding cycle. The capture of a single female mosquito eliminates not only her, but hundreds of her would-be offspring. Each female mosquito has the potential to produce up to 300 eggs, and have as many as five cycles. So by trapping one mosquito, you can potentially remove up to 750 more female mosquitoes. The number and location of traps will be determined by the size of your property and the number of mosquito breeding sites.
Experts warn its best to stay indoors during periods of peak mosquito activity, which isn’t always practical. The most common mosquito species prefer to feed at dawn and dusk and will continue feeding two to three hours after dark. Be aware, however, that some mosquito species like the Asian tiger are aggressive biters that feed during the day.
If you do go outside then take steps to become the least appealing target for a mosquito seeking a blood meal. Mosquitoes have photosensitive eyes that can detect bright colors.
- Wear light colored clothing which is less attractive to some mosquito species. Long sleeves and long pants as well as shoes and socks will give added protection.
- There are many repellent products containing plant derived chemicals. The most common of these is citronella. Inexpensive and readily available, citronella candles will not eliminate mosquitoes but are effective in their immediate area.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (marketed as REPEL) is endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and offers protection similar to low concentrations of DEET.
- DEET, has been in use for over 40 years and is also endorsed by the CDC. It’s long been considered the most effective mosquito repellant on the market, but should not be used too heavily or on infants under 2 months.
- CUTTER ADVANCED (Picaridin) is odorless, colorless and has proven to be as effective as Deet. Although fairly new to the U.S. this repellent has been used worldwide since 1998 and received CDC endorsement in 2005.
- Metofluthrin sold as DeckMate is a repellent that can be worn. It comes in a small container with a replaceable cartridge. Clipped onto a belt or clothing it relies on a battery-powered fan to release the mosquito repellent into the area, surrounding and protecting the wearer. It is not applied to the skin.
- Permethrin is primarily a fast-acting insecticide and has some repellent activity as well. Sprayed onto clothing, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, tents etc. it can be effective for up to two weeks, even through laundering. Never apply Permethrin directly to the skin.
Screens and Mosquito Nets
Make yourself safer indoors by keeping mosquitoes outdoors.
Install screens and mosquito netting where practicable to create skeeter-free zones inside the home.
Mosquito nets protect limited spaces; mosquito traps protect larger open spaces. Nets are extremely effective at blocking mosquitoes; mosquito traps kill mosquitoes by attracting them in first.
Mosquito traps are not a replacement for mosquito nets, screens or repellents, but an adjunct. When used together they can help reduce dependence on sprays of toxic pesticides and provide an effective long term solution for controlling mosquitoes.
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Female mosquitoes can beat their wings up to 500 times/second.