If you hate mosquitoes, you are not alone! In fact, window screens, introduced in the 1880's, were called "the most humane contribution the 19th century made to the preservation of sanity and good temper."
The pesky little insect has ruined countless hikes, BBQ's and campouts. This vector has literally killed millions of people throughout history, and still affects millions around the world today. As daunting as this sounds, there are steps you can take to co-exist and stay healthy.
What attracts the mosquito? After 30 million years of evolution, the mosquito has perfected its hunting skills. The mosquito uses three sensors to attract its prey:
Chemical sensors: Mosquitoes sense carbon dioxide and lactic acid up to 100 feet away. Unfortunately, we give off these gases as part of our normal breathing.
Visual sensors: Clothing that contrasts with the background enables the mosquito to "zero in" on you.
Heat sensors: Mosquitoes detect heat, so they can find warm-blooded mammals very easily.
The best thing you can do to control mosquitoes is to use a mosquito repellant and eliminate standing water around your home. A mosquito can lay up to 250 eggs at one time in still water, and they can hatch as fast as 7 days.
Check your gutters frequently for collected water (especially if they sag and aren't level), along with birdbaths, buckets or boggy areas of the garden.
Burning citronella candles, using an electronic bug zapper, or spraying surfaces near entertainment areas with a mosquito barrier spray will also help kill, or at least repel, mosquitoes.
We also highly recommend using Mosquito Dunks if you have areas of standing water that you can't drain.
Diligence is your best protection. Stay indoors at dawn and dusk hours, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts if possible, avoid any standing water, and repair broken screens.
Although it can be a constant battle, by incorporating the use of insect repellents and breeding prevention (eliminating standing water), mosquitoes and the diseases they carry can be reduced, making the outdoors more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
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