Things That Make Mosquitoes Love You
Mosquitoes crave the lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid found in sweat.
Bugs love the carbon dioxide that surrounds you if you are breathing heavy.
Mosquitoes follow carbon dioxide trails to their source.
Mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colors and spot darker clothing easier.
Beer and alcohol causes a rise in body temperature that attracts them.
The smoke of a fire deters them.
Bugs smell salty snacks, and sweets on the skin, that make us more delicious.
Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid. The amount released through your skin is increased when you eat potassium-rich foods.
Mosquitoes hate the smell of garlic.
Peppermint essential oil and lemon eucalyptus oil act as highly effective natural insecticides to repel mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are not a garden pest, but a pest of the gardener!
Controlling mosquitoes starts with getting rid of standing water. Regularly empty and clean bird baths, drain pot saucers, and clear clogged gutters. Stock ponds with larvae-gobbling fish and set up a pump to provide constant circulation. Treat water barrels and smaller water features monthly with Mosquito Dunks, floating donut-shaped cakes containing the organic larvicide BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis). Hang a bat house (each adult can eat several hundred mosquitoes every night); put up birdhouses for chickadees, wrens, purple martins, and other insectivorous species; and encourage frogs, toads, and dragonflies to take up residence by installing a buffer of tall grasses and native plants around ponds and streams.
If necessary, protect your skin with repellents based on oil of lemon eucalyptus. Brands such as Repel and Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus are derived from the native Australian lemon-scented gum tree, syn. Eucalyptus citriodora. It is the only plant-based control recommended by the CDC, and it’s safe, effective, and 100 percent natural. The citronella-scented geraniums you might find advertised as mosquito detractors are lovely plants, but there’s no proof they keep insects at bay.
West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitus: quite a list of reasons not to like the mosquito. Not to mention the itching and inflammation caused by their bites. Your chances of contracting malaria in the United States are minimal, but other mosquito-borne diseases are indeed a threat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 4,000 confirmed cases of dengue fever in the country between 1995 and 2005. Add to that 720 confirmed cases of West Nile virus (leading cause of arboviral encephalitis) in 2009 and it’s enough to make you want to run for the spray can. But an adequate understanding of these little critters can lead to safer and more effective methods of control.
More than 150 species of mosquito may call your back yard home. All are true flies and spend most of their time feeding on plant nectar. Only the females supplement this diet with the blood of animals or birds, which provides the protein necessary for egg maturation. Adult females lay eggs on the surface of stagnant water. Four to fourteen days later, the eggs hatch into wriggling larvae that begin to feed on water-dwelling microorganisms including fungi, bacteria, and algae. The larvae pass through several life stages, called instars, before pupating into adults. Depending on the species, adults can live from a few weeks to several months.
If you have a history of severe reactions to insect stings, call emergency medical services. If the stinger is still present, remove it immediately. Gently scrape the skin with a credit card, your thumbnail, or a blunt knife. Don’t pinch the stringer with your fingers or tweezers because this could squeeze more venom into the skin.
Apply ice or cold packs to constrict the capillaries and reduce swelling. Mama took a little tobacco, wet it with saliva and put it on the sting. Pain left immediately. Clean the area with soap and water and apply a mixture of baking soda and water.
If nothing is available, scoop up a handful of mud and hold it on the sting until mud dries or apply a slice of onion to the spot and hold it for a minute or so.
Male mosquitoes feed only on nectar. Female mosquitoes nourish their developing eggs with protein rich blood. Mosquitoes prefer to bite ankles and wrists, where blood vessels are nearer to the skin’s surface. They spit an anticoagulant under our skin, leaving us with whatever disease they’re carrying (encephalitis, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever). Lemon Eucalyptus oil can be used to repel mosquitoes.
Cool area of bite to constrict capillaries near skin’s surface and reduce swelling. To scratch the bite will make it worse.
Ticks are leading carriers of diseases to humans in the U.S., and second to mosquitoes worldwide. Toxins in the tick’s saliva cause the disease. Hard ticks have a tough back plate and tend to feed for hours to days. With hard ticks, disease transmission usually occurs near the end of a meal. Soft ticks have a more rounded body and lack the back plate. They usually feed for less than an hour and disease transmission can occur in less than a minute. Lyme disease is caused by hard ticks, including deer ticks. Sitting on a log in the woods, leaning up against a tree or gathering wood are risky activities when trying to avoid ticks.
Tick bites are generally painless and may go completely unnoticed. You may notice a red, circular bump and some itching and burning once the tick is removed. To remove a tick you can apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds; the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.
You may also use tweezers to grasp the tick close to its head; avoid squeezing the tick’s abdomen. Pull gently until the tick comes free. Do not twist and turn the tick, as the head or mouthparts may break off and stay in the skin, increasing the chances for infection. Crushing the tick may transmit diseases. Rinse it down a sink or flush it down a toilet. Clean the bite area with soap and water or a mild disinfectant and observe the area for several days.
Illnesses transmitted by ticks often begin days or weeks after the tick is gone. Symptoms may include fever, numbness, rash, confusion, weakness, pain and swelling in the joints, shortness of breath, nausea, and/or vomiting. Blood tests are needed to diagnose illness. To avoid ticks completely, stay away from outdoor areas where ticks thrive during the months of April through September. Tuck pants into boots or socks. Wear light colored clothes so ticks can be easily spotted and brushed off. Wear a hat or tie head in a scarf. Apply repellent. Promptly check yourself, others, and pets if exposed to tick areas. Mama always had a tick check before we went to bed.
To eliminate itch of insect bites, rub on meat tenderizer or lemon juice. White vinegar is another remedy for relieving the itch of insect bites. Apply it in full strength. Don’t use vinegar if the area is raw.
To repel insects rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects – if you take in enough cider vinegar by putting it on foods you eat, you’ll develop a body odor that will repel insects, including black flies. Rubbing the skin with baby oil or imitation vanilla extract repels biting insects such as mosquitoes and black flies.
1/2 litre of alcohol
100 gram of whole cloves
100 ml of baby oil or similar (almond, sesame, chamomile, lavender, fennel etc)
Leave cloves to marinate in alcohol four days. Stir every morning and evening and after 4 days add the oil and it’s ready to use. Gently rub a few drops into the skin of the arms and legs. Observe the mosquitoes fleeing.
Homemade Insect Repellant
4 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
10 drops citronella oil
10 drops lemongrass oil
10 drops eucalyptus oil
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops peppermint oil
Treatment for Insect Bites – Plantain grows everywhere. For bites of all kinds you cannot beat this plant. Just pluck a leaf, crush it up with your fingers, and hold it on the bite. You can even put a band-aid over it and hold it there that way for a while. The leaf will draw the poison or venom out of bite. It’s magic. Some people have used it on brown recluse spider bites with great success.
Concern About Using Deet in insect Repellants
According to the CDC, lemon eucalyptus oil could be a much safer and more natural weapon against mosquitoes and can be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Until recently deet was the only repellent recommended by the CDC, and approved for individual use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Oil of lemon eucalyptus is repellent oil made from the leaves of Eucalyptus citriodora. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is registered with EPA. When oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the US, it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET.
The most serious concerns about Deet are with the central nervous system. Dr. Mohammed Abou-Donia of Duke University studied lab animals’ performance of neuro-behavioral tasks requiring muscle co-ordination. Lab animals exposed to the equivalent of average human doses of DEET performed far worse than untreated animals. Children with DEET toxicity reported lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions though the amount that led to this toxicity was unreported, according to the CDC.
Keep Wasps and Bees Away for outdoor gatherings.- Put about 10 cloves in 1/2 lemon and set out. They do not like the scent.
GET RID OF ANTS
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons boric acid [purchase here: http://amzn.to/11nzGz6]3 cups warm water
Mix the sugar and boric acid well. Add the warm water slowly, mixing all the while so it won’t be too lumpy. Store in a jar until ready to use. When ready to use, put cotton into the top of a jar lid to fill it and then saturate the cotton to the top. Place it in the location where it is needed. This solution will keep a long while. Drip a drop or two over the edge of the lid to rest on the counter so the ants will find the solution sooner. It sometimes takes a little while for them to find it, but find it they will. When they do, do not disturb them as they drink. They will hang over the edge of the lid and drink for a while and then take it back to the nest killing the colony. Almost overnight they will be gone.
Homemade Mosquito Repellant
Add to a 16 oz spray bottle and fill with water.
15 drops lavender oil
3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
10 drops of citronella oil or lemon eucalyptus oil
¼ cup lemon juice.
Shake & use.
Homemade Mosquito Repellant II
1/4 cup vegetable oil mixed with these essential oils (mix and store in a spray bottle):
8 drops cedar
5 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
2 drops juniper
1 drop peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove
2 cups witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops citronella essential oil
20 drops lemongrass essential oil
Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.