Herbs And Health Master List Of Tips For Dealing With Mosquito Problems - Herbs And Health

Master List Of Tips For Dealing With Mosquito Problems

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Master List Of Tips For Dealing With Mosquito Problems
Graphic – herbsandhealth.net. Image sources – see foot of article

Did you know what has caused more human deaths than anything else since the beginning of time? No, it’s not cancer, heart attacks or car accidents.



It’s the mosquito.

Mosquitos are one of the most dangerous of all spreaders of disease – including various kinds of hideous fever, malaria, blood poisoning, West Nile virus and more. It’s somewhat embarrassing for us to admit that our greatest enemy of all is such an infinitesimal little squirt – but what makes mosquitos so effective is their stealth. In most cases, people do not even realize that they have been bitten until that telltale itch starts, followed by the angry red bump that can drive you crazy for several days. If you are lucky. If you are not so lucky, you could get a nasty infection, a serious illness or even something fatal. It happens. Even in the most “civilized” countries.



Until the day when we can all have our own personal shoulder-mounted micro-laser bug-defense system that automatically zaps any mosquito audacious enough to fly within three feet (while detecting and auto-avoiding butterflies and so on)… it looks like mosquitos are here to stay. And it’s a known fact that mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus are on the rise. The fact is, unless you are prepared to spend your entire life wearing full protective clothing, you’re going to get exposed to mosquitos at some point. So it’s time to do what you can to reduce your risks.

We’ve compiled a great “master list” of tips and techniques to approach every aspect of risk reduction. This could actually be a life saver:

1: Defend Your Home.

Fit self-closing screen doors and window screens, plus repair any existing mesh that has damage. This way, apart from the occasional one that flies into the house right when you open the door, you will almost eliminate the critters from entering your home (as well as flies, yellow jackets, and other flying critters).


2: Invest In Some Mosquito Nets For Your Bed (And For Camping).

In the tropics, these are essential – though (surprisingly) one does not see this so much in non-tropical countries such as the USA – even though there are mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus. I personally really enjoy mosquito nets. You can wrap them around a four-poster bed, or obtain the tent-style nets that hang from above any other type of bed. These nets give any sleeping space a cozy, cocoon-like feel. Also, you have the relaxing benefit of knowing that not only are you protected against mozzies, but you can also be safe from spiders abseiling down from above, scorpions, and other critters! Mosquito nets are easy to obtain, for example, here’s one I found for $15 on Amazon that got great reviews http://amzn.to/1E6vC7u (affiliate link)

3: Eliminate Standing Water Around Your Home.

Many people create ponds and even leave barrels or buckets of water free standing near their homes – but these things are absolute open invitations for mosquitos and will become breeding grounds in no time. One of the best tips for ponds is to bear in mind that mosquitos much prefer still water and avoid breeding in moving water. So you can introduce a water feature such as a fountain, waterfall, fountain, or aerator and this will solve the problem. If you have rainwater barrels, keep these covered over. If there are any other containers of water sitting around open, empty them out and leave the bucket upside-down to stop it from filling with water again.

4: Use Organic Mosquito Dunks

If it’s not possible for you to eliminate still water around your home, you can use commercially available mosquito dunks. These are tablets you can use on bodies of water to release naturally occurring organisms that are specifically toxic to mosquito larvae alone. Mosquito dunks can protect you for several weeks at a time and are guaranteed by the EPA to be safe for pets and wildlife. [1]

5: Own / Breed Larvivorous Fish

Another effective way of dealing with mosquitos breeding in the water around your home is to use fishes that eat mosquito larvae. Examples of larvivorous fish include kois, guppies, and the aptly named mosquitofish, a natural mosquito predator. They can be effective in controlling the mosquito population around your home since some fish species can eat up to 100 larvae in 24 hours. [2]

6: Copepods

If the price of buying a fish for your garden pond is too steep, you can opt for the cheaper copepods from specialty aquarium stores. Copepods are small crustaceans typically used by pet owners to feed seahorses. They are low maintenance and can survive for a long time. However their use as natural mosquito predator is highly regarded; even the World Health Organization lists them as one of their mosquito control recommendations.

7: Lure Bats To Your Garden

Bats are often given a bad rap, however, they actually contribute a lot to our ecosystem. They help pollinate plants, supply us with natural fertilizers and even help control the pest population. Bats are voracious predators with high-tech guidance systems and can (astonishingly) eat up to 20 mosquitos per minute. [4] So when mosquitos are a problem, bats are definitely our friend. You can make your garden more inviting to bats by planting night blooming flowers, installing a bat house (Amazon link) in the trees and providing them a source of water like a conventional bird bath we typically use.

8: Make Your Garden More Inviting To Dragonflies

Dragonflies are harmless to us and enjoyable to see, but they are anathema to mosquitos. Throughout their life cycle dragonflies feed on those pests. Dragonfly larvae feed on mosquito larvae while the adult dragonfly eats the adult mosquito. To attract dragonflies, add water plants to your pond to provide the adults a place to perch while the young ones have a place to hide underwater.

9: Mosquito Repellant Plants

See our full tutorial: 26 Plants That Repel Mosquitos These plants contain essential oils known for their insect repellent properties. Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, Neem, and Citronella are just a few of the plants capable of driving away mosquitos and on the plus side; these herbs can be used for making a homemade bug spray.

10: Make Bug Spray From Herbs At Home

Natural bug sprays are a safer choice considering the fact that most commercial brands contain the chemical DEET. DEET or N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, is a common insect repellant that is EPA approved. However, there had been cases of adverse effects reported with the use of DEET. Some reports include cases of skin irritation, neurologic effects, and even cases of fatalities in adults. [5] Making your own bug spray is simple and economical, especially if you already have the herbs mentioned above growing around your home. To make your own insect repellant, simply boil the herbs in one cup of water and let it simmer for 20 minutes while covered. After letting the mixture cool down, strain the herbs and add to the liquid 1 cup of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Use it as an alternative to store-bought bug spray and store it inside your fridge when not in use.

11: Vacuum Them Right Out Of The Sky

This may sound weird but wait for it: If you live in an area of massive mosquito infestation, you can eliminate vast numbers of them with powerful fan traps. These work, quite simply, by sucking in large quantities of air and filtering it through mesh that is fine enough to catch all mosquitos. This actually works incredibly well. Check out the full tutorial on how to make these traps (it’s inexpensive) here: VIDEO – How To Make A Serious Mosquito Trap (catches thousands!)

12: You Already Got Bitten. Now What?

Check out our tutorial References:

[1] BTI for Mosquito Control https://www.epa.gov/mosquitocontrol/bti-mosquito-control##2

[2] Guidelines on the use of larvivorous fish for vector http://nvbdcp.gov.in/Doc/Guidelines-larvivorous-fish.pdf

[3] Dengue control http://www.who.int/denguecontrol/control_strategies/biological_control/en/

[4] The Northern Bat of Sweden: Taking Advantage of a Human Environment (1990) http://www.batcon.org/resources/media-education/bats-magazine/bat_article/435

[5] DEET (Cornell Profiles) http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/deet-ext.html

Infographic photo sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anopheles_stephensi.jpeg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anopheles_albimanus_mosquito.jpg
https://pixabay.com/en/bug-plants-insect-leaf-nature-1278236/



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