Find out how to treat the bite as well as what you can do to reduce the number of biting incidences and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases for you and your family. Start by devising an effective DIY mosquito control program which incorporates a proven trapping system to reduce mosquito numbers, personal protection in the form of repellents, and a proactive approach to reducing and eliminating mosquito breeding sites around your property.
The first step in reducing mosquitoes on your property is to identify and eliminate all sources of standing water including low spots, ditches, and gutters.
Mosquitoes will breed in anything that holds water, including many everyday items such as a child’s toy, plant saucers, buckets, garbage can lids and pet food dishes. All easily overlooked items!
During the day, mosquitoes love to rest in tall grass or amongst shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short and bushes trimmed deprives them of a resting place. Rake up any fallen leaves as well. An overturned leaf can hold enough water for a mosquito’s eggs, as well as give them a place to wait out the day.
Let science help solve your mosquito problems. Today’s mosquito traps are smaller, more effective and surprisingly affordable! A consumer favorite, the Mega Catch™ Ultra has outperformed many competing traps in independent tests, thanks to its unique, propane-free, CO2 system. Combining proven mosquito-attracting science in a simple to operate, user friendly design the Ultra gives coverage of up to 1.5 acres and is designed to operate with or without Mega-Catch’s™ patented ‘Variable Quantity Slow CO2Gas Release System’.
The optional CO2 system has been designed to enhance trap performance by increasing the range and capture rates (by as much as 300-400%) of a wider variety of mosquito species and other biting insects.
Bear in mind that repellents do not protect all users equally. The effectiveness of a repellent depends on the mosquito species that is biting as well as the age, sex, level of activity, and attractiveness (to mosquitoes that is) of the human using the repellent. In general, mosquito repellents work by masking the chemical cues that invite mosquitoes to dine.
For over 50 years scientists believed that DEET worked by inhibiting signals from the mosquitoes’ antennae making it hard for them to find their target. However researchers at the University of California Davis have since discovered that mosquitoes actually smell DEET and stay away from it. Walter Leal Professor of entomology UC Davis concluded that DEET doesn’t mask the smell of the host or jam the insect’s senses – mosquitoes simply don’t like it because it smells bad to them.
Despite rumors and anecdotes of everything from banana peels to garlic tablets warding off mosquitoes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend only three types of repellents for safe and effective use:
- PICARIDIN by Bayer (marketed as CUTTER ADVANCED)
- OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS (marketed as Repel)
It’s not possible to eliminate every single mosquito. So if you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a rogue mosquito, whatever you do, don’t scratch the bite – no matter how good it feels. It can take up to two days before the itchy bump or wheal appears, and scratching it will just break the skin which could lead to infection. Wash with soap, run cool water over the bite, and be guided by the experts.
- Calamine lotion or Caladryl. A combination of zinc and iron oxides reported to have a soothing effect on itchy skin. Caladryl also contains a mild topical analgesic for pain.
- Icepacks. The cold constricts the blood vessels, which helps reduce the swelling, and numbs the skin to lessen the discomfort.
- Ibuprofen or hydrocortisone cream. Both will work to reduce swelling, and hydrocortisone also is widely used to soothe itching.
- Anti-histamines. Any over-the-counter medication such as Benadryl should help the itching to subside
Some people, although this is rare, can have a serious reaction to mosquito bites, which results in swelling in the throat, significant hives and wheezing. This life-threatening condition (anaphylaxis) requires immediate medical attention.
You CAN help reduce the number of biting incidences for everyone (pets included!) with an effective DIY mosquito control program. As they say, prevention is the best protection.