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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Bug Control / Insect Control / Pest Control Category: Mosquitoes

Improvement Project:

How to get rid of mosquitoes and help prevent a stinging encounter with them.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

Guide:

Having to hear the buzzing sound of a mosquito surely comes in second in annoyance to the most annoying aspect of mosquitoes, which is actually getting bitten by one.  To effectively get rid of mosquitoes (also known as "mozzies" and "skeeters") and their annoyance altogether, and help prevent any future stinging encounter with them in or around your house, you'll need to know a little about them, and such pertinent information follows:

Physical Description:

There is more than one type of mosquito.  Two of the most common have similar and different physical characteristics, which are explored below:

Mosquitoes:  2 Types

House mosquito.  The house mosquito is about a half of an inch long; has wings; has a narrow, stretched-out body; has a long snout and legs; and is generally light brown in color with kind of white stripes over its abdomen.

Asian tiger mosquito.  The Asian tiger mosquito is about a half of an inch long; has wings; has a narrow, stretched-out body; has a long snout and legs; and is generally dark brown to black in color with various white stripes over its body and legs.

Diet:

Generally, mosquitoes eat nectar and drink the juice that come from plants; in addition to the above, only female mosquitoes drink blood from humans and other vertebrates.

Habit:

Virtually all mosquitoes are active during the times of dawn and dusk, though some may be come out during the day.  When flying, mosquitoes emit a buzzing sound.  Mosquitoes may carry and transmit diseases to humans and animals, such as the West Nile Virus.

Control Treatments:

Control Treatment: (1) Natural Method to be Used on Person:

As an alternative to artificial chemical-based repellents, you may opt to put a little of any one of these natural substances on yourself to discourage mosquitoes from biting you ( you'll have to see which one is best for you):

 

                            Citronella oil

                            Lemmon Eucalyptus Oil

                            Cinnamon Oil

                            Rosemary Oil

                            Cedar Oil

                            Lemongrass Oil

                            Peppermint Oil

                            Geranium Oil

                            Clove Oil

Caution: Of course, make sure you read all product manufacturer instructions.

A study conducted by chemist Sen-Sung Cheng and his colleagues of the National Taiwan University, in fact, confirms that the mere use of cinnamon oil effectively kills mosquito hatchlings and may have a repellent effect on fully grown mosquitoes that buzz around humans, seeking to feed off of them.  (Cheng, S.-S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 14, 2004; vol 52: 4395-4400.)

Once applied, these products will offer their protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.  In fact, to offer the same effective repellent as that of DEET, any of the oils above may have to be applied quite frequently.

Control Treatment: (2) Store Product to be Used on Person:

As an alternative to the natural method above, you may also consider resorting to personal mosquito repellents based with DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide).  Such mosquito repellent products include the following: Repel Sportsmen Max 40 Insect Repellent and Cutter All Family Mosquito Insect Repellent.

Once applied, these products will offer their protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with insecticide products, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions. 

Control treatment: (3) Homemade Method for Outdoor Approach:

After a downpour of rain, your property will very likely become susceptible to mosquito infestation from puddles of water on your property that, if allowed to be left undisturbed, essentially become Petri dishes on which mosquito eggs are laid and hatched.  To prevent this hatching, and, in essence, the preparation of an infestation, you will need to disturb this fertile ground for mosquito development by one of two ways: 1) drop several drops of dish soap or detergent into the water puddles to effectively contaminate the water so as to destroy any mosquito larvae development; or 2) use a shovel to fill in the water puddles with good dirt to the point no water puddle remains.

Control treatment: (4) Store Products for Outdoor Approach:

As an alternative to the homemade method for outside treatment, you may opt to buy products that are specially designed to be placed in water puddles in order to kill any mosquito larvae, and they include the following:  Mosquito Dunks, Altosid Larvicide and Pre-Strike Mosquito Larvicide.

You'll also need to consider buying residual insecticide products that are applied all around the outside perimeter of the house, and such products include the following:  Demand CS Insecticide

Another type of product you may also consider using is a mosquito fogger kit, propane insect fogger kit, or a mosquito misting kit.

A relatively new product that is similar to the propane insect fogger kit is the ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent product.  In essence, it is a portable, reusable device equipped with a replaceable butane cartridge that heats inserted odorless repellent mats, which cause the mosquitoes to be sent away; many people who have used it say that it remarkably provides a 15-foot-diameter safety zone free of mosquitoes, enabling them to take part in their outdoor activities without being swarmed by mosquitoes.

Once applied, these products will offer their insecticide protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with insecticide products, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions. 

Control treatment: (5) Natural Method for Indoor Approach:

As an alternative to artificial chemical-based repellents, in addition to using a little of any one of these oils on yourself to discourage mosquitoes from biting you ( you'll have to see which one is best for you), you can also apply such oils indoors on your furniture, including your bed and its headboard in an effort to keep mosquitoes at bay when you go to sleep:

                            Citronella oil

                            Lemmon Eucalyptus Oil

                            Cinnamon Oil

                            Rosemary Oil

                            Cedar Oil

                            Lemongrass Oil

                            Peppermint Oil

                            Geranium Oil

                            Clove Oil

Caution: Of course, make sure you read all product manufacturer instructions. 

Once applied, these products will offer their protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.  In fact, to offer the same effective repellent as that of DEET, any of the oils above may have to be reapplied quite frequently.

Control treatment: (6) Store Product for Indoor Approach:

Should the natural method not be for you, or if you want something in addition to that, you may opt to buy insecticide aerosol spray, such as KONK I Insecticide Spray, KONK II Insecticide Spray and CB-80 Pyrethrum Aerosol Spray.  These are spray bottles you use to manually spray insecticide inside your house, in the air of the vicinity of where the mosquitoes are flying to quickly kill them.  Should you want an automated insecticide sprayer, which is designed to be strategically placed in a household to automatically release an insecticide mist at certain time intervals, there are some available on the market, one of which is the following: The KONK Automatic CSA Aerosol Dispenser by Air Guard; you'll, of course, need to additionally buy the insecticide aerosol spray, itself, to be inserted and used by the automatic dispenser.

Once applied, these products will offer their insecticide protection for a limited time before their effectiveness wears off and, consequently, another application is required.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with insecticide products, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions. 

Prevention:

Prevention in General

Moisture-free.  Have your house and surrounding property be free of any moisture that may be accessible to such mosquitoes.  This means ensuring that there is no standing water around your house, emptying out any outside pots, old tires, wheelbarrows, and buckets, among other things, of any accumulated water.

Porous-free.  Make sure that your house is as sealed as can be, and this includes doing the following:  Using a caulking gun, cocked with a caulking tube of the appropriate caulking, seal all porous openings to your house, such as foundation cracks, window crevices, wall crevices in general, and particularly the crevices surrounding the utility lines that enter your house walls.  Make sure that all vents and flashing are properly secured, that the sidings and eaves of your house are properly enclosed, and that, as applicable, your house chimney is properly secured with a cap.  Make sure your window screens and door screens are in good condition.

Personal Prevention

Things that you and your family can do to your own personal selves to avoid the interests of mosquitoes when you're out and about include the following:  Not wearing dark-colored clothing; and not wearing sweetened or otherwise fruit-smelling scents that may come in the form of perfume, cologne or shampoo.

The above information should prove to be useful in attempting to learn how to effectively get rid of mosquitoes and help prevent any future stinging encounter with them in or around your house.

Ed the Handyman

            &

Your Handyman Zone Team

 

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