How to Kill Mosquitoes
The Non-Violent Approach to Killing Mosquitoes
The mosquito killer might be the name of a super hero - or at least a super hero that every homeowner wishes existed on a warm summer evening when mosquitoes are ruining some outdoor time! Fortunately, there are plenty of mosquito killing products that can help you help yourself.
How to Kill Mosquitoes
All mosquitoes pass through four stages of life - egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Under the best circumstances, mosquitoes can complete their life cycle from egg to adult in less than seven days. All the mosquitoes need to move through their life cycles quickly is your help. And since you clearly don't want to promote the wellbeing of mosquitoes on your property, it looks like you'll have to find the best mosquito killing methods.
Since each stage of mosquitoes can be killed differently, it is important to use the right techniques in tandem and at the right stages. The first three stages, however, all take place in water, so the first step is clearly to address any water-filled areas in and around your property.
There are plenty of potential places on your property where mosquitoes can develop. Since water is a necessary component to mosquito breeding, it is important not to take even the smallest lingering puddle for granted. Bordering swamps, ponds, neglected swimming pools, and bird baths can be all it takes, even in a drought situation, to produce mosquito larvae. So before you have to worry about killing mosquitoes, you may want to try to stop your growing mosquito problem first.
Of course, there will always be mosquito breeding areas that you cannot eliminate. In those cases, you may want to use a mosquito larvicide to kill your mosquito problem before it really starts. The larvicides kill the mosquitoes before they mature into biting adults. The active ingredient in these products is usually Bti (acillus thuringiensis israelensis), a soil bacterium. It disrupts the development of the larvae and is lethal only at the larvae stage of mosquito development. Keep in mind that the Bti toxin is not lethal to humans or pets when it is used as directed. Bti products come in many forms and can be used as part of a safe mosquito control plan by homeowners. Methoprene is another chemical common to products used in water features. The only downfall of this chemical is that it is an insect growth regulator and must be eaten by the larvae in order to work. That means the window of opportunity is only good before mosquitoes reach the pupa stage.
For a more natural approach, Mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) are aptly named; their babies begin feeding on larvae the day they are born and will keep ponds clear of future biters. Cinnamon oil has also shown great promise in scientific studies in controlling larvae production. More research is needed, but it is safe and easy to use in standing water such as ponds and fountains.
Adult Mosquito Control
Even if you have been diligent in removing standing water and dealing with ponds and other bodies of water on your property, it's impossible to control all the potential breeding grounds that surround your home. Sometimes you have to take measures that directly target adult mosquitoes and kill them before they get a chance to sink their teeth in you.
Female mosquitoes are the biters of the bunch and they live for approximately a month. They can travel up to miles from their breeding grounds in order to find food and search out human prey by heat, movement, scent, and carbon dioxide exhalations. When dealing with adult female mosquitoes, the most effective solutions involve personal protection with tightly woven, light-weight clothing and repellents such as DEET. These measures will control the amount of mosquitoes that specifically target you, but they will not do anything to actually kill mosquitoes.
If you want to keep yourself protected and kill those mosquitoes for good, your best bet is to go with a widespread solution. You may want to invest in a safe piece of technology such as a mosquito trap, which uses Octenol, a synthetic component of human perspiration and U.V. light to attract mosquitoes away from humans and into their receptacles for quick and easy disposal. With a product like this, you will be able to kill mosquitoes before you even notice them and be able to lounge around your pool in unbitten peace.
As with killing mosquito larvae, it is important for you to investigate the safety of the "solution" for your mosquito problem. While mosquitoes are nuisances and can sometimes carry diseases, no product used on your property should be a danger to yourself, your family, pets, wildlife and plant life, even when combating this problem. Be sure to research any product that you plan to buy. Stay away from potentially dangerous products and stick with things like a mosquito trap which are proven to be safe and effective.
Other Mosquito Killers
Pethmethrin is a pesticide which is sold as a repellent and for use on clothing, not on skin. A combination of DEET-treated skin and permethrin-treated clothing can create a very efficient barrier against mosquito bites. Just be sure to read the labels on both products so you do not inadvertently harm yourself by using either product on the wrong spot.
Mosquito killing sprays come either water or oil based and can be used indoors or outdoors. Most sprays only work if you hit the insect directly. So if you are dealing with a traveling mosquito, those products are less effective and may be worrisome if used around children and pets or people with compromised immune systems.
As a safer and easier alternative, it may be best to purchase a home use model of a product such as a Mega-Catch Mosquito Trap. This is a much more environmentally-friendly and safe way of killing mosquitoes in the home. Plus, you will not have to hunt for mosquitoes, thus allowing you to relax while your product does all the mosquito killing for you.
Mosquito Websites of Interest
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