Mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on Earth. They carry threatening diseases like malaria, West Nile and encephalitis.
Interesting stats about Mosquitoes:
• studies show that mosquitoes prefer to bite men over women;
• overweight people are at greater risk.
• Mosquitoes can hone in on carbon dioxide emitted from breath and skin from over 75 feet away.
• Scientists estimate that genetics account for about 85% of our attractiveness to mosquitoes
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
· Don’t use The Bug Zapper. A University of Delaware published a study showed that out of nearly 14,000 insects killed by six zappers in one summer, only 31 were biting fliers.
· Avoid Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. It is not recommended for young kids.
· Consumer Reports does not recommend using products that combine sunscreen with insect repellent.
· Avoid Avon Skin So Soft as a insect repellent. It protects against mosquitoes for only ~23 minutes.
· A small study from 2002 found that citronella-based repellents keep bugs away for about 20 minutes or less.
· Avoid clip on mosquito-repellent devices
· Avoid Perfumes: Female mosquitoes normally feed on flower nectar when not trying to reproduce – avoid smelling like one!
1. Mosquitoes breed in Standing water. Clearing your home gutters of clogs, filling in sunken parts of your lawn and regularly change the water in your bird bath or kiddie pool. Inspect basements and crawl spaces. If they are flooded, drain as quickly as possible. Fix the screen on both windows and doors to block mosquitoes from coming indoor.
2. Expose as little skin as possible. Certain species of mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors like black, blue, and red. And they are all attracted to heat. So stay cool by wearing lighter colors.
3. Try to avoid being out at Dawn or dusk when they are most active
4. Position yourself near ceiling fans on patios, porches or open-air restaurants that have them. Strategically place fans around your deck or patio to get a good bug-free breeze going.
5. Plant perennial Thai lemon grass contains citronella oil.
6. Report Dead Birds to Local Authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area.
7. If you are a mosquito magnet, select blueberries, apples, watermelon, cucumbers, cabbage, and green peppers, which are relatively low in potassium, instead of potatoes, prunes, raisins, spinach, bananas, lima beans, and acorn squash, all of which are particularly high in potassium.
CHEMICAL OPTION: We don’t recommend this either:
1. DEET. According to the CDC, insect repellents that contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (KBR 3023) usually provide longer protection than insect repellents containing different active ingredients.
Best Repellent per Consumer Report:
• Off Deep Woods Sportsman II,
• Cutter Backwoods Unscented,
• Off FamilyCare Smooth & Dry and
• 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 8.
Concentrations up to 100% DEET can be purchased in the U.S., however Canada has barred sales of any repellent containing more than 30% DEET due to its toxicity. Use 30% DEET solution and reapply every 3-4 hrs. Like SPF, higher concentrations of DEET are no more effective for preventing mosquito bites than lower concentrations. DEET must be reapplied every three hours for maximum safety. When used in conjunction with sunscreen, DEET should always be applied to skin first before sun protection. DEET lowers the effectiveness of sunscreen;
OTHER NATURAL ALTERNATIVES:
• Garlic makes an semi-effective natural mosquito repellant. Mix one part garlic juice with five parts water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray on self as needed.
• Use Catnip: Nepetalactone in catnip seems to repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET.
• Try Kids Herbal Armor which was voted "Best Gear of the Year" by National Geographic. Reapply every two hours. It is Water and sweat resistant and non-greasy. But the smell is strong. Also it doesn’t work with all bugs
The American Mosquito Control Association can provide advice, and their book Organization for Mosquito Control is a useful reference.