Everything you need to know about Mosquito Killers and Repellents
Table Of Contents
- 1 Everything you need to know about Mosquito Killers and Repellents
- 1.1 Why Do I Need to Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
- 1.2 What Diseases can I get from Mosquito Bites?
- 1.3 First Steps to Prevent Mosquito Infestation and bites
- 1.4 How to Avoid Mosquito Bites?
Why Do I Need to Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are small insects that have been around for over 70 million years. There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes worldwide. Mosquitoes are an important part of our ecosystem as they are a food source for many other insects, birds and fish. However, they are also thought to be the most dangerous insect for humans: mosquito bites are responsible for millions of death a year. While some mosquito bites may be harmless, others carry dangerous diseases. Female mosquitoes, with their piercing mouth, draw blood from their victims in order to feed their eggs. When the mosquito pierces through the skin of its host, its saliva is transmitted to the host. At best, the bite will cause an itchy bump. In the worst case, the saliva acts as a vector for the transmission of deadly diseases. This tiny insect can easily travel across borders and even oceans as long as they have food sources available. They only require a very small amount of water in order to breed. They have the ability to go dormant for a long time when the weather gets cold. They also survive very well in extreme heat conditions. Given their resilience and mobility, mosquitoes are one of the best mode of transportation for diseases.
What Diseases can I get from Mosquito Bites?
Mosquitoes carry and spread a variety of communicable diseases caused by parasites, fungus, viruses and bacteria. Children and people with weakened immune systems are often the first targets of this silent killer insect. Some of the most harmful infections that mosquitoes carry and transmit, include:
- Malaria: Malaria is a parasite that is often spread by an infected Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms (fever, headaches, vomiting, seizures) begin one to two weeks after the bite by an infected mosquito. This infectious disease can be life threatening if no treated properly. Malaria is most common in tropical and subtropical regions.
- Chikungunya: Chikungunya is a virus that is often spread by infected Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitos. Symptoms (fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headaches) begin 2 to 12 days after the bite. There is no treatment available as of 2016, other than rest, fluids and pain medication. Chikungunya is most common in Africa and Asia.
- Dengue: Dengue fever is a virus that is often spread by infected A. aegypti mosquitos. Symptoms (fever, headache, vomiting, muscle pain, and skin rash) begin 4 to 14 days after exposure. Tests are available to confirm the diagnosis of Dengue. Dengue fever is most common in Asia and South America.
- West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus causes West Nile Fever, which is a virus spread by infected mosquitoes of the Culex species. Symptoms (fever, headaches, vomiting or rash) affect about 20% of people infected by the virus. However, it may affect the nervous system of others. Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis. The West Nile Virus is present on all continents.
- Zika Virus: Zika Virus causes Zika Fever, which is a virus spread by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species. Symptoms (fever, red eyes, joint pain) are usually mild and are similar to symptoms for the Dengue Fever and generally last for less than a week. Blood, urine or saliva tests are available for diagnosis. The Zika virus can be transmitted from human to human via sexual intercourse. The Zika virus is present in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
- Yellow Fever: The yellow fever is a virus that is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitos. Symptoms (fever, chills, nausea, headaches and muscle pain) begin 3 to 6 days after incubation and usually improve within 5 days, but complications may occur (liver damage, abdominal pain…). A vaccine is available and may be required to travel to certain countries.
First Steps to Prevent Mosquito Infestation and bites
- Elimination of breeding spots: most mosquito species require water to breed. Removing standing water around your home will reduce opportunities for mosquitos to breed. If you live near a larger body of water, such as a pond, introducing certain fish will help: Goldfish, koy carp and guppies are known to feed on mosquito larvae. Others species (Aedes) lay eggs out of water, which will survive for months or until water becomes available.
- Exclusion: Using bed nets and window/door screens will prevent mosquitoes from entering your house. Inspect your screens regularly to make sure that they are intact.
- Introduce predators: Bats, frogs, dragonflies, spiders, lizards and geckos are your best friends when it comes to controlling mosquito population: they will each adult and immature mosquitos.
- Cover Up: During peak hours, wear long sleeve shirts and pants to minimize the skin area exposed to mosquitoes.
How to Avoid Mosquito Bites?
The best option against mosquito-borne diseases remains prevention of mosquito bites with repellents, insecticides, nets, or traps. You may need to use a combination of methods to kill mosquitoes around your home and prevent bites. Some methods may target adult mosquitos, while others may target larvae or eggs.
A trap is a device designed to attract mosquitoes by mimicking human breath, then trap them in a net or a container.
Our Favorite Trap
A zapper is an electrical device designed to attract an insect with a light source, which will then electrocute the insect.
Our Favorite Zapper
A sprayer is a device that spray small amounts of insecticide into the air in order to immediately kill flying mosquitoes.
Our Favorite Sprayer
A fogger is a device that creates a mist from an oil or water based insecticide solution, which can be applied on foliage.
Our Favorite Fogger
A repellent is a substance that discourage mosquitoes from approaching, landing or biting its favorite targets.
Our Favorite Repellent
An exterminator or control service reduce mosquito population by applying long lasting products in targeted areas.