How To Kill Mosquitoes
Admit it. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as giving that newly landed mosquito a well deserved swat or slap. That is until it disintigrates into a mushy pool of blood on your arm – and you realize it’s your blood!
Not only do you have a fast developing itchy mosquito bite to deal with, you’ve got major blood, guts and gore to clean up as well.
Amongst mosquitoes, it’s only the female that bites, and she will continue to bite and draw blood until her abdomen is full. If she is interrupted before she is full, she will just fly to the next available person. After filling up, she will give it a rest for two or three days, lay her eggs, then is up and off and ready to bite again.
Scientists have discovered that 1 in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes and that 85% of susceptibility is genetics. In short a mosquito magnet!  They’ve also identified certain elements of our body chemistry that invite mosquitoes to swarm closer. You are more likely to be a target if you produce excess amounts of uric acid, have high concentrations of steroids on your skin or if you’re pregnant. Pregnant women produce greater amounts of exhaled carbon dioxide – a known mosquito attractant.
“There’s a tremendous amount of research being conducted on what compounds and odors people exude that might be attractive to mosquitoes,” says Joeseph Conlon, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA).
Unfortunately with over 400 different compounds to examine, it’s a long and laborious process and researchers are only just starting to scratch the surface.
If you don’t want the bite, then you need something that scares off the skeeters. DEET has been around since the 1950′s and is regarded as the most effective chemical repellent on the market. But just how safe is it to coat yourself in chemical based products like DEET? A substance by the way that is known to melt plastic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded: “as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern.”
- Use sparingly
- Avoid spraying on or near open skin,eyes, mouth, and nose, under clothing, or near food
- Wash treated skin with soap and water
In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending Picaridin as an alternative repellent. Proven to be as effective as DEET, it has been used worldwide since 1998, and is light, clean and virtually odorless.
However while repellents provide excellent personal protection, they don’t actually kill mosquitoes. So if you do want to cut down on the number of potential blood suckers in your yard, then a mosquito trap could be the answer. The complete opposite of repellents; they work by attracting, trapping, then killing female mosquitoes.
And when placed strategically near known breeding sites, “they have knocked mosquito populations down,” reports Conlon.(WebMD, July 28, 2009)
While there are a number of brands out there, Mega-Catch™ are amongst the highest rated mosquito traps on the market. Even better they don’t use harmful chemicals, fogs or sprays to kill mosquitoes. And in indepedent tests Mega-Catch™ traps have been shown to capture hundreds of mosquitoes in a single night which must surely cut down on the number of ankle bites over summer.
So if you are one of those genetically susceptible mosquito magnets , have a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites or live in an area where you are at risk of being exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue fever Chikungunya fever or Encephalitis, then a mosquito trap is probably a sound investment. Because unfortunately it looks like the ever-evolving mosquito – who has been around for 170 million years or more – is here to stay.
 Are You a Mosquito Magnet?
Experts try to crack the code behind why mosquitoes like some people more than others. WebMD Feature By Elizabeth Heubeck