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Attract & Kill Mosquitoes, Midges & More!
The Mosquito Has Landed!
Admit it. There's nothing quite so satisfying as giving that newly landed mosquito a well deserved swat or slap. That is until it disintegrates into a mushy pool of blood on your arm - and you realize it's your blood!
Not only do you have a fast developing itchy mosquito bite to deal with, you've got a bit of a bloody mess to clean up as well.
There's got to be a better way.
You can Kill Mosquitoes, Midges and more without getting blood on your hands!
For many years, repellents have been considered the Number 1 weapon against mosquitoes. However, while effective, they don't actually kill mosquitoes. If you do want to cut down on the number of potential blood suckers in your yard, then a mosquito trap could be the answer. The complete opposite of repellents; they work by attracting, trapping, then killing female mosquitoes. Even better they are also effective against a whole host of biting insects including midges, sand flies and black flies.
While there are a number of brands out there, Mega-Catch™ , a consumer favorite, are among the highest rated mosquito traps on the market. Even better they don't use harmful chemicals, fogs or sprays to kill mosquitoes. And in independent tests Mega-Catch™ traps have been shown to capture hundreds of mosquitoes in a single night which must surely cut down on the number of ankle bites over summer.
So if you are one of those genetically susceptible mosquito magnets, have a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites or live in an area where you are at risk of being exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever or Encephalitis, then a mosquito trap is probably a sound investment. When placed strategically near known breeding sites, "they have knocked mosquito populations down," reports Joe Conlon.(WebMD, July 28, 2009).
Do you attract mosquitoes?
Scientists have discovered that 1 in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes and that 85% of susceptibility is genetics. In short a mosquito magnet!
They've also identified certain elements of our body chemistry that invite mosquitoes to swarm closer. You are more likely to be a target if you produce excess amounts of uric acid, have high concentrations of steroids on your skin or if you're pregnant. Pregnant women produce greater amounts of exhaled carbon dioxide - a known mosquito attractant.
"There's a tremendous amount of research being conducted on what compounds and odors people exude that might be attractive to mosquitoes," says Joeseph Conlon, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA).
Unfortunately with over 400 different compounds to examine, it's a long and laborious process and researchers are only just starting to scratch the surface.
Amongst mosquitoes, it's only the female that bites. And she will continue to bite and draw blood until her abdomen is full. If she is interrupted before she is full, she will just fly to the next available person. After filling up, she will give it a rest for two or three days, lay her eggs, then she is up, off and ready to bite again! One female mosquito (depending on species) is capable of laying up to 250 eggs at a time, and as many as 3000 eggs during her lifetime - that's potentially a lot of bites.
WebMD reports that repeated mosquito bites over a lifetime may help people become immune to the saliva, or can have the opposite effect, making a person even more sensitive.
If you don't want the bite, then you need something that scares off the skeeters. DEET has been around since the 1950s and is regarded as the most effective chemical repellent on the market. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending Picaridin as an alternative repellent. Proven to be as effective as DEET, it has been used worldwide since 1998, and is light, clean and virtually odorless.
In 2013 the Environmental Working Group EWG) released their latest Guide to Bug Repellents. The surprising news: among the four repellent chemicals EWG found to be top picks is DEET, which is widely used but much maligned. DEET's safety profile is better than many people assume. Its effectiveness at preventing bites is approached by only a few other repellent ingredients. The only botanically-derived ingredient the CDC recommends is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, which has been registered with the EPA and undergone efficacy testing.
EWG Top Four Repellent Chemicals:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and its synthetic derivative PMD
Caution must be exercised when using any of these repellent chemicals and it is important to follow label directions and precautions. Remember these are strong chemicals and some should not be used on infants and young children.
- Use sparingly
- Avoid spraying on or near open skin,eyes, mouth, and nose, under clothing, or near food
- Wash treated skin with soap and water
Shaken Not Stirred
For those of you who want to avoid chemical-based repellents altogether, alternatives do exist. This vodka based recipe on e-how. www.ehow.com uses citronella oil as the main active ingredient. Does this mean you can sip, slop, slap all at the same time?
- Place 1/2 cup organic apple vinegar into a lge mixing bowl
- Mix in 1/2 cup vodka
- Add 2 Tbsp citronella oil and mix thoroughly
- Transfer contents into a small spray bottle
- Apply liberally for best effect
Although I travel incognito,
I can't deceive the smart mosquito;
While others also have corpuscles,
Mine are the ones toward which she hustles;
My blood is thin and I have asthma;
She doesn't care, she wants my plasma.
Mosquitoes seem to love the rind of me,
The front, the sides, and the behind of me;
I've tried to think why they're so smitten,
And as I think, once more I'm bitten.