How to Eliminate Mosquitoes in Your Home

Stagnant Water

One of the best ways to eliminate mosquitos from your home is to eliminate their preferred breeding grounds – standing, stagnant water.  This means keeping the gutters free of debris so water cannot collect.  Children’s swimming or wading pools should be emptied and cleaned weekly.  Low-lying areas which tend to pool up after rain events should be modified to improve drainage.  Birdbaths should be scrubbed out often, and the water should be pumped out.   Look for any old tires or empty flowerpots which may collect water.  Store these containers upside-down whenever possible.  Mosquitos like to lay their eggs in standing water or along the sides of containers which may collect rainwater later.

The most effective, long-term approach to mosquito management is elimination of mosquito-breeding water sources over a large area.  This would involve the mapping of all potential mosquito-breeding water sources over the entire community.  Since floodwater mosquitoes develop in temporary sources that exist following rain, the ideal time and way to map these sources would be from an airplane a day or two following a sufficient rain.  Once these breeding sources have been determined, efforts should be made to eliminate them through filling, ditching, draining, or other diversionary methods.  Any temporary or permanent water sources that can’t be eliminated should be inspected weekly for the presence of developing mosquito larvae.  If mosquito larvae are found to be developing in these sources they can be safely and effectively treated with products containing the insect growth regulator methoprene or with products containing Bacillus bacteria.  While these products are effective in controlling mosquitoes, they are harmless to humans, pets, fish, and other types of wildlife.  While more traditional insecticides are available for application through ULV sprayers and foggers against adult mosquitoes, these applications are generally short-term in their effectiveness and are best suited for limited applications or during declared public health emergencies rather than as a routine part of a mosquito management program.

CO2

Another way to eliminate mosquitos from your home is to place mosquito attractants around the perimeter of your property.  Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide emissions, which is why they can zero in on a breathing human being.  Candles containing citronella oil were once popular as mosquito repellents, but have since been proven to be ineffective.  One mechanism of burning candles which can be used to eliminate mosquitos is the production of carbon dioxide as they burn.  If you want to reduce or eliminate mosquitos during an outdoor event, place candles around the perimeter to draw them away from human targets.  Don’t place candles or smudgepots in the center of everything.  Although much media attention has been given to using propane-driven devices that emit CO2 to attract mosquitoes, the effectiveness of these devices has centered largely on testimonials rather than research.  Plus, these devices can be very expensive.  You need to remember that these devices are intended to “attract” mosquitoes.  As a result, if used they need to be placed well away from decks, patios, porches, etc.

DEET

Finally, you cannot overlook personal protection as a way of contending with mosquitoes.  Avoiding the areas and times of day when mosquitoes are most active and wearing long, heavy-knitted clothing are recommended practices.  Applying mosquito repellents that have a low concentration of DEET also will be effective in minimizing mosquito biting activity.  In the realm of mosquito repellents, any commercial product containing high percentages of DEET should eliminate mosquitos for several hours at a time.  A spray repellent such as Deep Woods OFF can contain up to 24% DEET and work effectively for five hours or more.  Other products which claim to eliminate mosquitos may not be nearly as effective as DEET, but should perform adequately with frequent re-applications.  Mosquito repellents don’t actually repel mosquitos as much as they make the wearer less visible to a mosquito’s tracking devices.  To aid in the battle to eliminate mosquitos, people should also avoid wearing floral-scented perfumes or colognes, exposing too much untreated skin and wearing dark clothing.

Bats

Mosquitos live, eat, breed and die according to a cycle.  In order to eliminate mosquitos, people must work diligently to break up that cycle whenever possible.  Sources of standing water must be eliminated or treated chemically to prevent egg growth.  Beneficial animals, such as bats or purple martins, should be encouraged to take up residency near mosquito-infested areas.  With the increased risk of mosquitos transmitting the West Nile virus, the need to eliminate mosquitos from inhabited areas has also increased significantly.

Kill off the Males

The key to eliminating mosquitoes is to kill off the males (the ones that don’t bite).  Mosquitoes don’t travel far, so if you kill off the males, you eliminate the population entirely.  This can be done with a clever Australian invention called the bugeater (http://www.bugkiller.com.au/).  It has a specially formulated UV light that attracts the male and then drowns it.  No high voltage and no poisons.  There is a noticeable drop in the population after 2 weeks, and with in a month of using it there are virtually no more mosquitoes.  I’ve got one – they really work!

Products

ThermaCELL Compact Mosquito Repellent Appliance $22.99; Expensive refills

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/Summer/Camping/MosquitoRepellents/PRD~0593816P/ThermaCELL%2BCompact%2B%2BMosquito%2BRepellent%2BAppliance.jsp

Ultra Outdoor Bug Zapper $84.99

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/MosquitoPestControl/MosquitoMagnets/PRD~0593788P/Ultra%2BOutdoor%2BBug%2BZapper.jsp

Ultra Outdoor Bug Zapper Replacement Stinger Octenol Lure $12.99

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/MosquitoPestControl/MosquitoMagnetAccessories/PRD~0593771P/Replacement%2BStinger%2BOctenol%2BLure.jsp

More info

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/ResearchCentre/MosquitoMagnetRepellentBuyingGuide.jsp

http://sbk.online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204660604574378933761528214.html?mod=rss_Health

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Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


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