mosquito control

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Time To Plant Mosquito-Repelling Plants

List of pest-repelling plants

From Wikipedia

There are 23 days until the official start of Spring.  Spring means many things to many people, but one of the unfortunate features of spring and summer are the increase and activity of biting mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests.  It is never too early to start thinking about mosquito control, and one of the best ways is to have mosquito-repelling plants surrounding the green areas of your home.  This list from Wikipedia will give you a jump start on planning your bug-free green space this Spring and Summer.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

This list of pest-repelling plants includes plants known for their ability to repel insects, nematodes, and other pests. They may be used in companion planting for pest control in agricultural and garden situations, and in households.

The essential oils of many plants are also well known for their pest-repellent properties. Oils from the families Lamiaceae (mints), Poaceae (true grasses), and Pinaceae (pines) are common insect repellents worldwide.[1]

Plants that can be planted or used fresh to deter pests include:

Click here to read the entire list

Published in Mosquito Control

5 Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away

From Allwomenstalk

It's easy to forget about mosquitoes and biting insects when the weather is below zero and all you can see out your window is a whitewash of snow.  Spring is officially just over 3 weeks away, however, and if last year is any indication, mosquito activity can start as early as April.  Increases in diseases that were spread by biting mosquitoes and ticks such as West Nile, Lyme Disease, and Chikungunya were staggering last year.  The best way to protect your family is to have a mosquito abatement plan, or better yet, an automatic on-demand system from Bug Off Mister.  This post from Allwomenstalk gives you 5 ways to avoid the mosquito problem this year.  Try these methods for yourself and see if they help protect your family.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

There's nothing more frustrating than trying to spend some quality #time outside in the yard and being bombarded by mosquitoes. Numerous ways exist for repelling mosquitoes and I've listed 5 of them #below. See if any of these 5 ways to keep mosquitoes away will work for you. If you've already found something that works well, then please feel free to share it.

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Published in Mosquito Control
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 00:00

Natural Mosquito Control On A Budget

Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These!

From The Frugal Life

The frugal life isnt being cheap, it's making the most of living with what you already have.  Just because you are being frugal, doesn't mean that you are any less attractive to biting and disease-carrying mosquitoes.  What is a frugal one to do?  This post from The Frugal Life gives you some highly effective plants and flowers that one can plant in their garden that actually repel these pests.  The best part about this post is that the frugally inclined can do this themselves for very little cost!

Here is an excerpt from the post:

If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of time outdoors. And, for sure, you would rather be tending your plants than swatting mosquitoes.

While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are some plants that will beautify your yard and help repel mosquitoes.

As one more way to keep mosquitoes away from you and your yard, try planting these attractive plants.

Horsemint has a scent similar to citronella. Horsemint grows wild in most of the Eastern United States, from Mexico, Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. It is partial to sandy soils and will grow in USDA Zones 5-10. Native Americans used it as a treatment for colds and flu. It has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties because it's essential oils are high in thymol.

This wonderful herb we use for seasoning is also a great, natural mosquito repellant. It has been used for centuries to keep pesky mosquitoes away. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean, so it likes hot, dry weather and well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-10, and must be grown as a pot plant in colder climates. If you happen to live in a part of the country where rosemary does not grow, you can get a good quality rosemary essential oil; mix 4 drops with 1⁄4 cup olive oil. Store in a cool, dry place. When it comes to fresh plant oils as natural mosquito repellants, there is every reason to have the plant in your yard, if they will grow in your area. It is an inexpensive and attractive way to boost the appearance of the landscape and have natural mosquito repellants on hand as well.

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Published in Mosquito Control

Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

With the proliferation of mosquito populations worldwide and the associated diseases that they invariably carry and spread, there exists no shortage of information on mosquito control and prevention of bites.  Some of the information can be conflicting, so who can you trust?  This post from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services answers that question definitively: The U.S. Government!

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The Basics

Take steps to avoid bites from mosquitoes and ticks.

Get rid of standing (still) water around your home to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs nearby.
Cut back brush and tall grasses around your home and rake up fallen leaves to keep ticks away.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
Use bug repellent (also called bug spray or insect repellent) on your skin and clothing.
Check everyone for ticks after spending time outside.
Take a shower after going back inside to help wash away ticks.
Use a veterinarian-approved tick collar or spot-on repellent on your pets. And remember to check your pets for ticks.

Use bug (insect) repellent.
Bug repellent makes it harder for mosquitoes and ticks to find you.

What type of repellent do I need?

To avoid tick and mosquito bites, use a spray or lotion with 20 to 30% DEET. Check the label.
You can also look for repellents with 20 to 30% picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to avoid mosquito bites.
It's a good idea to use sunscreen when you are outside, but get a separate sunscreen lotion. Don't use bug repellent that has sunscreen already mixed in.
Use a spray with permethrin on your clothes, shoes, and camping gear to repel and kill ticks. Never use permethrin directly on your skin.

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Published in Mosquito Control

Finding Smells That Repel


Research into why some people attract mosquitoes and some just aren't that attractive to mosquitoes is well documented.  Researchers at Rothamsted Research in the U.K., says this post from the Wall Street Journal, are now zeroing in on the actual chemicals that are emitted from the people to whom mosquitoes just aren't attracted.  It turns out that some of these people's stress level is directly associated with repelling mosquitoes.  This post goes on to say that perhaps this research might be the key to finding an all natural, highly effective mosquito repellent in the near future.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The phenomenon that some people are more prone to mosquito bites than others is well documented. In the 1990s, chemist Ulrich Bernier, now at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, began looking for what he calls the "magic compounds" that attract mosquitoes. His research helped to show that mosquitoes are attracted to humans by blends of common chemicals such as carbon dioxide, released from the skin and by exhaling, and lactic acid, which is present on the skin, especially when we exercise. But none of the known attractant chemicals explained why mosquitoes preferred some people to others.

Rothamsted's Dr. Logan says the answer isn't to be found in attractant chemicals. He and colleagues observed that everyone produces chemicals that mosquitoes like, but those who are unattractive to mosquitoes produce more of certain chemicals that repel them.

Misguided Mosquitoes
"The repellents were what made the difference," says Dr. Logan, who is interested in the study of how animals communicate using smell. These chemicals may cloud or mask the attractive chemicals, or may disable mosquitoes from being able to detect those attractive odors, he suggests.

Besides delivering annoying bites, mosquitoes cause hundreds of millions of cases of disease each year. As many as 500 million cases of malaria are contracted globally each year, and more than one million people die from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mosquitoes can also spread West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and other illnesses.

Currently the most effective repellents on the market often contain a chemical known as DEET, which has been associated in some studies with potential safety concerns, such as cancer and Gulf War syndrome. It also damages materials made of plastic. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has determined that DEET, when used as directed, is safe.

The Rothamsted team set out to get the mosquitoes' viewpoint. The researchers separated human volunteers into two groups—those who were attractive to mosquitoes and those who weren't. They then put each of the volunteers into body-size foil bags for two hours to collect their body odors. Using a machine known as a chromatograph, the scientists were able to separate the chemicals. They then tested each of them to see how the mosquitoes responded. By attaching microelectrodes to the insects' antennae, the researchers could measure the electrical impulses that are generated when mosquitoes recognize a chemical.

Dr. Logan and his team have found only a small number of body chemicals—seven or eight—that were present in significantly different quantities between those people who were attractive to mosquitoes and those who weren't. They then put their findings to the test. For this they used a so-called Y-tube olfactometer that allows mosquitoes to make a choice and fly toward or away from an individual's hand. After applying the chemicals thought to be repellant on the hands of individuals known to be attractive, Dr. Logan found that the bugs either flew in the opposite direction or weren't motivated by the person's smell to fly at all.

The chemicals were then tested to determine their impact on actual biting behavior. Volunteers put their arms in a box containing mosquitoes, one arm coated with repellent chemicals and the other without, to see if the arm without the coating got bitten more.

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Published in Mosquito Control

6 Herbs That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes and Fleas

From Gerson Institute

Some people are just natural mosquito magnets.  Whether it is their blood type, their diet, or other unknown factors, some people just can't escape biting mosquitoes and fleas and the associated diseases that their bites can carry.  While there are many varied and sundry sprays, gels, bracelets, fogs, etc. available commerically to combat these flying pests, most carry chemicals that can be harmful to humans and pets, like DEET.  This post from Gerson Institute presents a list of 6 herbs and plants that actually repel these pests naturally.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Summertime is full of fun stuff – sun, surf and big, silly blockbuster movies – but there's one part of summer that's not so fun: the BUGS. 'Tis the season for mosquitoes, fleas and other itch-inducing insects to come out in full force, leaving your skin covered in bites and your fingers frantically scratching away, desperate for a little relief.
I've always been a magnet for mosquitoes and other bite-happy bugs, and my skin is super-sensitive to bug bites. Once, when I was in elementary school, my dog Louie became the unwitting host to a pretty extraordinary number of fleas that arrived very suddenly one weekend. Unaware of his unwelcome visitors, I spent the weekend playing and snuggling with him as usual. By that Monday, I was so completely covered in angry, itchy red bites that my teacher sent me home thinking I had chicken pox!
So come summertime, I'm always on the lookout for new natural ways to repel those pesky little biters. Commercial bug repellents like Cutter and Off are full of nasty chemicals like DEET, so they're unwelcome anywhere near my skin. Call me crazy, but since I try my utmost to keep pesticides off my veggies and out of my diet, I'm not about to go rubbing pesticides on my skin!
How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Bugs and Love My Lemon Balm

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Published in Mosquito Control


From Arrow Exterminating

Most people are exasperated with Mosquitoes that fly around their backyard and spread harmful and sometimes fatal diseases.  It seems as though no matter how much the backpack sprayer comes to bomb the yard, or how many candles are lit, the mosquitoes seem to multiply, almost in defiance of your efforts.  Luckily for you, mother nature has already figured out the best way to keep mosqutioes from attacking your family.  There are certain flowers, says this post from Arrow Exterminating, that when planted around your garden act as natural mosquito repellents.  These flowers will help you in your efforts to build a barrier around your family to keep the mosquitoes from attacking.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Mosquitoes don't pose the same health risk in the United States as they do in other countries, but they are still one of the most annoying pests in America. Fortunately, there are flowers and plants that help keep mosquitoes at bay. Lavender, peppermint, thyme, and lemongrass are just a few of the many flowers and plants that can be planted around your home to keep mosquitoes away.

Click here to see the post and watch the video

Published in Mosquito Control

Natural Ways to Keep Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos Away This Summer

From homesessive

Fighting airborne, biting insects can be an exasperating battle.  You can use harmful chemicals, have your yard sprayed every 2 weeks, but they still keep coming back and keep your family at risk of disease.  This post from homesessive points out that there are ways you can help your cause, without utilizing potentially harmful chemicals.  Why not let Mother Nature help you win this battle?

Here is an excerpt from the post:

When it comes to summer time, there's usually one place we all want to be ... outside! Nothing beats hanging outdoors with friends and enjoying the nice, warm weather. Yet, unfortunately with the warm weather comes some not so welcome creatures. Whether it be mosquitos, ticks or fleas, we've got you covered to help keep them away. Gone are the days of lathering yourself with gallons of chemical sprays! Instead, try these natural ways to keep you, your friends and your pets free from these icky insects.

Click here to see the slideshow

Published in Mosquito Control
Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00

These Mosquito Myths Will Surprise You

Mosquito myths

From Mosquito World

You've probably heard that bats are voracious mosquito eaters.  It has become a popular sentiment that bats can eat so many mosquitoes that installing a bat house in your backyard can actually clear your yard of mosquiotes.  Is this really the case?  How about the fact that dryer sheets actually repel mosquitoes?  Installing a bug zapper will rid your yard of buzzing pests, right?  This post from Mosquito World debunks these popular urban legends, among many others surrounding mosquitoes. 

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Bats eat up to 600 mosquitoes an hour. This one may have gotten started with a study in which mosquitoes were released into a room full of bats while researchers counted how many they ate. The bats consumed about 10 per minute, or 600 per hour. But mosquitoes were the only insects in the room for the hungry bats to eat. Since then, studies have found that mosquitoes make up less than 1 percent of bat diets.

Purple martins are voracious mosquito predators. This is another scientific observation taken out of context. A researcher initially estimated that a purple martin would need to eat its body weight in mosquitoes, about 14,000 insects, every day in order to survive. However, like bats, purple martins actually prefer other prey, including dragonflies, which are mosquito predators. Mosquitoes make up less than 3 percent of the birds' diets.

Dryer sheets make good mosquito repellents. Several other household items are also supposed to be repellents, including banana peels and Vicks VapoRub. But repeated studies have shown that DEET is the only one that is consistently effective in blocking mosquito bites over extended periods of time. While picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus also been shown to repel mosquitoes, neither provides the same level of protection as DEET.

Click here to read the entire post

Published in Mosquito Control

5 Mosquito Repellents: Does it Work?


Ever wonder if all of the mosquito repellents that are on the shelves actually work?  That's what this post from KFVS aims to find out.  Looking at all of the commercially-available options can be daunting, to say the least.  Should you use the spray with DEET, or the other spray on the same shelf?  Should you wear the bracelet or light the candle?  This post tests 5 popular commercially-available repellents to find out what works and what doesnt.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

This week's Does it Work test features five of the newest moquito repellents, including one at-home remedy. I asked the Ziegler family of Kelso, Missouri to help.

"Smells good! We'll see if it keeps the bugs away!" says Kim, mom of three active girls.

The Zieglers of Kelso have each been trying five different mosquito-repelling products over the last few weeks. They've also worn each product at different times of the day and night to help us with our unofficial test. Hold on everybody---I'm going to hand out the grades right now!

First, we start with the newest bug spray on the market called Repel. Ten-year-old Anne used this product the most. She thinks it even smells better than most bug sprays.

"With Repel, all you gotta do is spray it on and it works!" she says.

Several weeks bites, each time Anne wore Repel.

"I like Repel the best," says Anne.

Repel easily gets an 'A' but how does it stack up to the Ziegler family favorite?

"That's our favorite product every summer---no complaints!" says Kim.

Kim's talking about Avon Skin So Soft with Picaridin. It's Deet free, which Kim really likes for her youngest daughter, Ali. Kim is also a registered nurse.

As predicted, the family says no bites with Avon Skin So Soft with Picardin. The Zieglers still grade their stand-by with an A+.

Click here to read the entire post

Published in Mosquito Control
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