There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes. The female mosquito relies on blood for nutrition, which results in the spread of diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that living humans and animals emit.
There are several ways to rid your area of mosquitoes. The first method is prevention. In order for a female mosquito to produce young, there has to be a source of standing water. Removing these sources will stop the breeding cycle and help to reduce mosquito populations. Some sources of standing water can be bird baths, old tires, ponds, rain barrels and swimming pools. In order to keep mosquitoes from using the standing water in bird baths and swimming pools, you need to drain the water on a regular basis, cover the source of the water or keep the water circulating. There are inexpensive solar devices available for circulating water in bird baths or pools. Rain barrels need to be covered. In addition, a petroleum product can be used as a cover. It works by suffocating mosquito eggs.
Another method of removing mosquitoes is to use chemicals. Some areas hire extra employees to spray insecticides during the mosquito season in order to kill young and adult insects. Some other insects, such as dragonflies and certain species of fish also feed on mosquitoes. If the is a natural or man-made pond nearby, stocking the pond with fish species such as goldfish, minnows, or guppies. It is wise to check with a local expert who can recommend a type of fish to put in a pond based on the geographical area and temperature fluctuations. Also, the petroleum products available to suffocate mosquito eggs would kill any fish in the pond. Although some people add bat boxes to their properties, it is not a very effective means of mosquito removal. Bats do eat mosquitoes, but only in very small numbers.
When prevention of the population isn’t enough, there are other ways to repel adult mosquitoes. One of the ways is to use a spray on repellant. Most repellants work by using a chemical such as DEET. DEET can be sprayed on skin and clothing, although it is not recommended to be used on very young children. There are several brands of products containing various concentrations of DEET. Depending on the brand, and if the concentration is made for adults or children, the repellant may need to be reused throughout the day. It is also recommended that long sleeved and long pants be worn when working or playing around areas with mosquitoes. Another form of repellant is citronella, which is a natural or organic repellant. This repellant typically comes in a candle form. Depending on the brand and strength, a citronella candle provides mosquito protection within a certain radius. While there is no chemical sprayed on clothing or on skin, you may need several citronella candles, depending on the size of the area that is being protected. Other natural mosquito repellants include: lemon eucalyptus oil, geranium and soy oil, fennel, thyme, clove and garlic. Whether or not the natural repellants work is questionable, although studies have shown that lemon eucalyptus oil is effective. Although there are also bug zappers on the market, mosquitoes are not attracted to light. In order to use a bug zapper to control mosquitoes, it has to be able to emit a chemical scent to draw the mosquito to the light where it will be killed by a small jolt of electricity.
Another method of controlling adult mosquitoes is by using a mosquito magnet. This type of device uses scents that attract mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are lured to an area with a small vacuum. When the mosquito gets closed enough to this vacuum, it is sucked up into a netted area where it dies of dehydration. Although a mosquito magnet can cost in the hundreds of dollars and runs on propane, it can cover several acres of area, which may make it an ideal choice for someone who has a farm, swimming pool or other large area.
There are several options available for mosquito removal. There are natural and chemical methods that can be partnered together to provide long lasting and far reaching mosquito control.