Mosquitoes – All Thing You Should Know

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Mosquitoes – All Thing You Should Know

Mosquitoes - All Thing You Should KnowThe Mosquito Male Mosquitoes The Mosquito Pants

Mosquitoes Control: A Serious Problem in Home and Garden

If there are any places around your home and garden where water can collect you may be raising mosquitoes. You should get rid of old tires, tin cans, bottles, jars, buckets, and other containers, or you should keep them empty of water. Keep rain barrels covered and screened. Repair leaky pipes, outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to avoid damp soil. Also change and scrub vases, bird baths or watering pans for pets and livestock at least twice a week.

Mosquitoes are an annoying and serious problem in the home and garden. If you have work to do outdoors or just enjoy your backyard in the evening they can make work very unenjoyable and spoil your good time.

They are capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue to man, encephalitis to man and horses and heartworm to dogs and cats. And, now the West Nile virus. So not only are they annoying but these diseases are serious and should not be taken lightly.

We are all too familiar with a mosquito’s appearance but just in case you don’t know what they look like the following is a description. They have long slender bodies, narrow wings with a fringe of scales on the edges of the wings and along the veins, and long, thin legs. The females have firm mouthparts well adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. The males cannot suck blood but both sexes feed on the nectar of various plants.

Their life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The eggs may be laid singly or in rafts, deposited in water, on the sides of containers where water will cover, or on damp soil where they can hatch when flooded by rainwater or high tides. I think this is what happened between Key Marco and Goodland last week due to the enormous area of standing water in the mangrove die-off area whenever it rains. Mosquito control reported this area to have very high mosquito numbers. When it rains this water has nowhere to go and thus becomes a giant puddle to not only produce mosquitoes but to further kill more mangroves. No fish can get into the area to feed on larvae.

All of the mosquito species require water for breeding. Mosquito larvae are not adapted to life in moving waters. They occur instead of quiet water. Mosquitoes do not breed in the heavy undergrowth of weeds or shrubs. Although these places offer excellent refuge for adults, they do not provide a suitable habitat for mosquito larvae.

The eggs elongated, about 1/40 inch long, are laid in batches of 50 to 200 and one female may lay several batches. In warm water, the eggs of most species hatch in two or three days. Some eggs require a drying period, remaining dormant for months. They both hatch soon after coming in contact with water which is why we always have an outbreak soon after a good rainstorm.

Some species feed on cattle, horses or other domestic animals while others prefer a man. A few species feed only on cold-blooded animals and some live entirely on nectar or plant juices. Some are active at night and others only during the day time.

Mosquito control is the responsibility of both the individual and the local Mosquito Control District.

Individuals should follow the above-listed advice to eliminate standing water from around their homes and gardens. Keep your screens in good, tight-fitting repair. And use repellents like DEET, oil of citronella or Avon’s Skin-so-Soft.

Some years the mosquitoes are worse than others. Do all you can in your own yard and surrounding area to eliminate breeding grounds to help keep the populations down.

They weigh less than a thousandth of a dime, travel just one mile an hour, and typically live only two to three weeks. But because they spread many deadly diseases (West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria, to name a few), mosquitoes kill more than a million people each year, making them the deadliest creatures on earth. And, as we all know, just one tiny mosquito can be a huge nuisance. Combat the little buggers this season by protecting your yard, protecting yourself, and treating bites with natural remedies. Here are three no-cost ways to enjoy a mosquito-free summer.

Don’t give them a chance to become parents

To lay eggs, mosquitoes need water, but it must have been standing for more than four days. Here’s how to eliminate potential breeding habitats.

  • Drain any standing water that’s collected in garbage cans, old tires, potted-plant saucers, and buckets. Change the water in pets’ dishes daily; in birdbaths and children’s pools, every two days.
  • Toss trash and recycle often—especially bottles and cans.
  • Clear debris from gutters and storm drains.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets.

Keep biting mosquitoes (which are always adult females) away from your house and yard. 

  • Adult mosquitoes like to rest on plants. Reduce the number of places where they can find shelter by pulling up weeds and mowing the lawn regularly.
  • When you’re enjoying a drink on the porch, set up a rotating fan outside—mosquitoes are weak flyers and won’t make headway against a current.

Protect yourself, now that the garden’s covered

To keep from getting bitten, try not to schedule outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active (usually dawn and dusk), and when you do go outside, use a mosquito repellent. Steer clear of products containing the chemical DEET; according to researchers at Duke University, frequent and long-term exposure may lead to memory loss, muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, and brain damage. Fortunately, there are a number of effective, safe alternatives.

We road-tested natural, nontoxic mosquito repellents so you can have the buzz on healthier alternatives.

Alfresco Anti Bug Bite Moisturizer 
Ingredients: Botanical extracts, including geranium, Melissa, and lavender

Mosquito Magic Soap Bar 
Ingredients: Rose, lemongrass, cedar, citronella, clove, rosemary, peppermint, cinnamon, thyme, and mint oils

Quantum Buzz Away Citronella Towelettes 
Ingredients: Citronella, cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils

Bite Blocker 
Ingredients: Purified water; soybean, coconut, and geranium oils; glycerin; citric acid

No Buzz Zone Patch 
Ingredients: Citronella oil, gum arabic, carboxymethyl cellulose, ethylene polymer

Way Out Wax Hemp Citronella Candle 
Ingredients: Soy wax, beeswax, and hemp-seed and citronella oils

Natural Bite Remedies

Get the Itch Out with these natural, effective bite remedies.

Vitamin B1

Studies suggest that taking 25 to 50 milligrams (a safe dosage for adults and children) of thiamin (vitamin B1) three times a day, starting two weeks before mosquito season, reduces your chance of getting bitten. The vitamin produces an odor on the skin that, though undetectable to us, is thought to be disagreeable to mosquitoes.

Ice

Treat a bite the same way you would any swollen bump: Put ice on it. The cold will reduce itching and inflammation.

Meat Tenderizer

Apply a dab of meat tenderizer directly to the bite to neutralize the itch-inducing allergen and reduce swelling.

Baking Soda

Pour a teaspoonful into a little water, stir to make a thick paste; apply to bites. Helps heal irritated tissues and reduces itching.

Menthol

Dab anything with menthol in it—say Tiger Balm or Vicks VapoRub—on a bite to relieve itching quickly.

But if you’re really covered in bites and they’re driving you crazy, use an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl, which will provide quick and effective relief. You can take it orally or apply it topically in cream or ointment form.


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