Mosquito Prevention, Protection, & Control
|Mosquito Traps||Mosquito traps use a variety of attractants that mimic the blood sources required by biting female mosquitos to reproduce to lure mosquitos into a capturing device (usually a vacuum, sicky board, or zapper. Some mosquito traps, including the Lentek Mosquito Trap and Mosquito Magnet have been proven to be very effective at both attracting and trapping mosquitos. These models use the same general technology used by scientists and government researchers to capture mosquitoes for their studies, but in a configuration that is convenient and cost-effective for home use. Unfortunately, there are a wide array of other traps that are less effective, and some completely ineffective.
CLICK HERE for a comparison of mosquito trap brands and their performance.
|Chemical free (safe), does not harm beneficial insects, cost effective, cover large area, and some brands are very effective. The biggest benefit of traps is that they actually serve to reduce the mosquito population around your home, not just temporarily repell mosquitoes which continue to breed and make future control efforts more difficult.||Traps are obviously more expensive that a can of repellent or some of the alternative products, however, because of their effectivness and long life, they are worth the investment (certain models).|
|Bug Zappers||Bug Zappers usually use light and heat to attract insects to a device where they come in contact with an electrical charge that electrocutes them. While they are very effective at killing insects, they are only slightly effective at killing mosquitoes.||They do kill bugs - chemical free.||Limited effectiveness, can potentially pose a safety hazard around children and pets, kill more beneficial insects than mosquitoes, require a lot of maintenance.|
(N, N diethyl-m-toluamide)
|Deet has been scientifically proven to provide the best personal protection from mosquito bites. Deet is available in variety of concentrations ranging from as little as one or two percent to 100%, and is applied directly to your clothing or skin. There is a great deal of concern however, about the effect of Deet on human health, specifically on children. It is generally recommended that children use a concentration of no greater than 10%. It is also recommended to try to avoid the use of Deet, or products containing Deet, directly on your skin as it is a toxic chemical. Rather, it should be applied to your clothing.||Proven to be the most effective personal use product/repellent for the prevention of mosquito bites, low cost.||Human health concerns, does not reduce breeding population (temporary relief), must apply every day you use your outdoor living space (or even several times per day)|
|Permethrin||Permethrin is a powerful, odourless insecticide that is available in either an aerosol or concentrated format. It is derived from the crushed and dried flowers of the daisy Chrysanthemum. Permethrin does not repel mosquitoes, but works as a contact insecticide causing nervous system toxicity, leading to death or knockdown of the mosquito. Permethrin is applied to clothing, tents equipment etc., but not to skin.||Resitant to degradation by heat or sun. Maintains it's potency for up to two weeks.||Low level toxicity, effectiveness?|
|Natural and Plant-Derived Repellents and Products
|Thousands of plants have been tested as potential sources of insect repellents. None of the plant-derived chemicals tested to date demonstrate the broad effectiveness and duration of DEET, but a few show some repellent activity. Plants whose essential oils have been reported to have some repellent activity include citronella, cedar, verbena, pennyroyal, geranium, lavender, pine, cajeput, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice, garlic, and peppermint. Unlike synthetic insect repellents, plant-derived repellents have been relatively poorly studied. When tested, most of these essential oils tended to provide only limited and short-lasting protection, usually less than 2 hours (some only minutes). Natural products are included in lotions and sprays, and also in candles and other devices. Various mosquito repelling plants have been touted as worthy additions to your garden - save your money, their effectiveness is limited. Certain products in this category also require the burning of a candle or other item - this could pose a health hazard, so use caution. By wary of products manufactured by companies you don't know and trust.||No chemicals or pesticides||Very limited effectiveness|
|Mosquito Band Blocking Devices||These bands, or bracelets are worn around the wrist, and release an odor that is reported to confuse mosquitos and make it hard for them to identify you as a target. Mosquitoes will still be present, but bites may be reduced slightly.||Inexpensive and easy to wear.||Effectiveness is very limited.|
|Ultrasonic & Electronic Devices||Small ultrasonic electronic devices are meant to be carried on the body and purportedly emit sounds that repel mosquitoes. Some report to mimic the frequency of the wing-beat of a dragonfly (the mosquito's main predator). Many studies conducted in the field and laboratory show that these devices simply do not work or have very limited effectiveness.||Inexpensive and unobtrusive||Effectiveness questionable|
|Bats||Bats are well known mosquito eaters! A single bat can eat hundreds of mosquitos every hour, however, research suggests that only about 10 to 15% of the average bat's diet is mosquitoes. You can encourage bats to visit your yard by building a simple bat house. Plans can be readily found on the Internet - there is no need to pay the extra money to buy a kit. Bats are a great natural way to reduce mosquitoes around your home, just don't expect they to have a very big impact. They may very well choose to have dinner in your neighbors yard, not yours, since they can fly long distances from their roosting areas.||They definitely eat mosquitos!||Limited effectivness for home mosquito control|
|Chemical Insecticides||There are a wide variety of chemical insecticides that can be used for mosquito control. Unfortunately, as is often the case with chemical formulations, we only learn of their toxic effects on humans and pets long after they have been used. Most frequently, insecticides are sprayed on mosquito resting areas such as shrubs and tall grass.||Effectively kills mosquitos, but a high cost (see disadvantages)||Most have high to extreme health hazard, requires applicator training for "safe" use, kills beneficial insects, may cause short and/or long-term ground or well water contamination. The effectivness of insecticides can be hampered by weather conditions (rain, for example) and they are of little or no benefit when the mosquito resting areas are ourside of your property (Mosquito traps still intercept these mosquitoes before they reach you).|
|Biological Larvicides||These usually come in a bisque tablet or pellet form and can be added to areas of standing water on your property (a pond, for instance) to kill the mosquito lava. They usually use a bacterial agent that only attacks mosquito larva, so they are generally regarded as relatively environmentally safe. Because larvicides only target mosquito hatching on your property, mosquitoes that are hatching on adjacent properties could still enter your yard looking for their next blood meal. For this reason, larvicides are not generally considered a viable overall control solution.||Quite effective and environmentally safe in some circumstances.||Not effective at intercepting mosquitoes migrating to your property from neighboring land to feed.|
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