Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but can also spread disease. They seem to come out of nowhere by the thousands at times. The buzzing alone is irritating, but the bite can bring potential long lasting illness. And once bitten the itching can be unbearable and seems to last a long time. Mosquito’s are a prime food source for bats and many birds. They keep many of these animals well fed.
Only the female mosquito bites, the male is content to live on the juice of trees and plants. The female is on a life long quest for blood. She needs this protein for egg production. Unfortunately in her quest for blood she may bite a sick person or animal and transfer diseases from one host to another. Once a mosquito is infected with a disease it will last the duration of her life. These diseases are no trivial thing, they include West Nile disease, yellow fever, encephalitis and approximately 70 additional others types of disease.
Mosquito’s like water; stagnant water is a prime breeding area. They thrive in the decay of brush and grasses. Empty or eliminate any areas of standing water, this will help reduce the population. There are two classifications of mosquitoes. The Anopheline and the Culicine. It is the Anopheline type, which is the malaria carrier. The Culicine type, which also includes the common house mosquito, and the yellow fever carrier. Both types of mosquito can present serious health issues.
The female may live from a week to 30 days or more. In this period of time she will lay several batches of eggs. Ranging in quantity from 50 to in excess of 200. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist long to determine this can turn into a population explosion rather quickly. Birds, bats, dragonflies are all mosquito predators. Without them we would soon have a very serious problem.
The tiny mosquito is well armed to hunt its prey. They see in a different light spectrum than we do, They are extremely sensitive to carbon dioxide and lactic acid. They seem to prefer dark colors and blues the best. Each time you exhale a breath, you surround yourself with carbon dioxide. To the mosquito its as though you are ringing the dinner bell. Also they zoom in on lactic acid. Sugar products when mixed with saliva create lactic acid. Eating sweets is like waving a red flag. When you exercise or stretch and strain your muscles also create lactic acid. This is a normal function, but to the mosquito it’s a sure-fire way to locate a good meal. The only defense against them without any repellants is to lock yourself away or to cease living. I find neither of the choices very appealing.
Many years ago, a product was developed to repel these small bloodsuckers. It has been used worldwide for many years. There are people that will not or cannot use this product, yet to this day it seems to offer the best defense. The name of this product is “N.N-diethyl-metatoluamide” or commonly called “DEET”.
There are many debates over the concentrations of DEET and what percentages work the best. It seems that 100% is no more effective than 17% as far as repelling goes, although the time frame between applications is much longer with the higher percentages. One company in particular has figured out a time release formula. This formula works very well. The US military forces are currently using this formula. TC.