Mosquito Control Methods
Plants and Natural Methods
Citronella, a perennial clumping grass, is a plant that emits a strong aroma that is very popular in repelling mosquitoes. As a plant which can effectively act as a mosquito repellant, Citronella is very easy to grow, reaching heights of five to six feet in height. It can be planted in a pot or on a garden bed, making it accessible to anyone who needs a natural mosquito repellant. Citronella, which is a known main ingredient for many mosquito repellants, works by masking the scents which attract insects. It masks scents such as humans’ carbon dioxide and lactic acid, thereby significantly reducing the risk for mosquito bites.
Lemon balm, a versatile herb which has plenty of uses, is also known to be a good mosquito repellant. This is because some forms of lemon balm located in northern Europe contain trace amounts of citronella, reaching around 38 percent in some forms of the herb. Due to the lower amount of citronella, lemon balm needs to be crushed and rubbed against exposed skin in order to work as a repellant, unlike the citronella grass itself which emits a scent all on its own to repel mosquitoes.
Catnip, more popularly known as a treat for cats, is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant which can actually act as a mosquito repellant. As a plant which can be easily grown in any garden, it contains a potent essential oil that repels mosquitoes. Several studies have proven that Catnip’s essential oil, which has a very distinct odor, is approximately ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, a compound used in many commercial insect repellants.
Marigold is a flower from the sunflower family that is also known to be an effective insect repellant. Known as a strong mosquito repellant, a form of a scented marigold can potently repel insects such as mosquitoes from the area. Depending on the variety of the flower, it can repel different types of mosquitoes. French marigolds can repel whiteflies, while the Mexican variety of the flower can repel several different insects, as well as rabbits. Despite having powerful insect repelling properties, marigolds, though, do attract spider mites and snails.
Lavender is a flowering plant most popularly known for its delightful scent which is commonly used in aromatherapy. The plant itself can easily drive insects, including mosquitoes, away while effectively perfuming the surroundings. Lavender oil has long been used for many centuries as a potent insect repellant. Aside from lavender oil, dried lavender flowers can also be used as an insect repellant. Combine dried lavender flowers with vinegar is a great topical insect repellant. The mixture does need shaking everyday and before using so as to benefit from its insect repelling effects.
The peppermint, which is a cross between watermint and spearmint, is a fragrant plant which also acts as a strong insect repellant, particularly against mosquitoes and fleas. Though not an insect repellant on its own, peppermint needs to be crushed and rubbed against exposed skin in order to act as a repellant. Peppermint oil is also just as effective as it is crushed. Peppermint oil, when dabbed or sprayed on skin, clothing, or an area, can effectively repel insects away. The oil of the plant can also be combined with other types of essential oils so as to broaden the number of insect species it can fend off.
Cinnamon, a spice which is scraped off a tree, can be used to do more than repel mosquitoes, particularly, its oil. Because pure cinnamon oil can be irritating to the skin, it is important to dilute the oil to 1% in water before using it on your skin. This mixture should be shaken well before use and then sprayed onto the skin to repel mosquitoes. A certain percentage of cinnamon oil can also be used to kill off mosquito larvae, anywhere between 6 and 24 hours, depending on the percentage of the oil used.
Commercially Available Methods
Bug zappers are devices which can be hung or left standing alone, depending on the model. Attracting flying insects by light, it kills insects by electrocuting them. Bug zappers are effective at killing insects which are attracted to the light, however, it only has a small chance of killing mosquitoes which may lose its way into the electrical grid.
Another variation of the bug zapper comes in the form of a racket, which is similar to that of a tennis racket. This racket is swung in the air, electrocuting insects that it hits. This version brings the zapper to the insects instead of attracting them.
Electronic Pest Control
Electronic pest control devices, which can either be electromagnetic or ultrasonic, claim to affect pests and insects’ in different ways, thereby repelling them. Electronic pest control devices are said to affect large areas, repelling insects away from the affected area. However, studies have shown that these sort of electronic pest devices do not have any scientific evidence that it works.
Insect sprays are the most commercially available solution against mosquitoes. Utilizing insecticide, insect sprays, or bug sprays, kill insects such as mosquitoes, roaches, and ants in an area where it was used. The affected area does need to be left alone for several minutes as the insecticide can have negative effects on humans who will inhale them in large amounts.
Insect foggers, which can either be powered electronically or by the use of propane, are devices which use insecticide to fog large areas, effectively killing insects such as mosquitoes and repelling them for several hours after fogging. The fog particles which the device dispenses kill pests upon direct contact with them. Insect foggers usually do not leave any scent behind and are portable enough to be used in vast open spaces. Depending on the insecticide used and the type of fog dispensed, wet fog can damage plants and carpeting while dry fog does not. Dry fog is also the recommended fog to be dispensed as it is more effective in killing insects.