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Mosquito Facts

Mosquito BitingMosquito BitingMosquito Biting

1. All Mosquitoes are not alike

2. Mosquitoes carry many diseases

3. The Females thrive on blood

4. Mosquitoes eat all sorts of things

5. They have poor eye-sight

6. They live long enough to create misery

7. People are not always their favorite target

8. A prolific species

9. They can't wait to start bugging us

10. They don't like to travel

11. How do they find us?

12. The 9:00 to 5:00 Mosquito

13. What's wrong with bug zappers?

14. What's wrong with sprays and foggers?

15. How about Citronella candles and smoking coils?

16. What are the alternatives?

 


All Mosquitoes are not alike

  Jurassic Park taught us that mosquitoes have been around for 100 million years. In that time they have diversified into 3,000 species that are very different from one another. Instincts pre-program their life's behavior, and these programs are constantly refined by evolution. They have successfully adapted to climates from the arctic to the equator and developed means of locating indigenous bloodhosts in each locale: some mosquitoes prefer frogs, others mammals, still others birds. No product, including mosquito traps, foggers, pesticides, Citronella candle, smoking coils or DEET, works equally well on every species of mosquito.

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They carry many diseases

Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases kill more people than any other single factor. Mosquitoes can be carriers of malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever in humans. In the United States, mosquitoes spread several types of encephalitis. They also transmit heart worms to cats and dogs.

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The females thrive on blood

Mosquitoes do not feed on blood. The female mosquito requires a blood meal for development of her eggs.

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They eat all sorts of things

Mosquito adults feed on flower nectar, juices, and decaying matter for flight energy. The larvae are filter feeders of organic particulates.
The larval and pupal stages can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats including: discarded containers, tires, temporary woodland pools, tree and crab holes, salt marshes, and irrigation ditches.

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They have a poor eye-sight

Mosquitoes don't see very well, but they zoom in like a heat-seeking missile. In the spherical arrangement of their compound eyes, blind spots separate each eye from the next one. As a result, they can't see you until they are 30 feet (10 meters) away. Even then, they have trouble distinguishing you from any object of similar size and shape: tree stump, 55-gallon drum, etc. When they are 10 feet (3 meters) away they use extremely sensitive thermal receptors on the tip of their antennae to locate blood near the surface of the skin. The range of these receptors increases threefold when the humidity is high. If you go into mosquito habitat such as forests or wetlands where mosquitoes can easily see you, protect yourself with a repellent such as DEET.

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They live long enough to create misery

There are over 170 described species of mosquitoes from North America. Several species have been accidentally introduced from other parts of the world. The average life span of a female mosquito is 3 to 100 days. the male lives 10 to 20 days.

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People are not always their favorite target

  People are not the primary bloodhosts for mosquitoes, especially in temperate climates. There are few people near the Arctic Circle, for example, but millions and millions of mosquitoes. The major mosquito pests in the Southeast US seem to prefer the host-odor of small herbivorous (vegetarian) mammals, or birds. Mosquitoes that carry encephalitis seem to prefer avian (bird) bloodhosts. These mosquitoes bite people when they get the chance, but they are better at tracking the scent of animals that are most abundant in their habitat.

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A prolific species

One female mosquito may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 offsprings during her life span. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so eliminating standing water on your property reduces your risk. Areas like rain gutters, tree holes, old buckets or tires with stagnant water are breeding sites. However, although you may have taken steps to clear your property, you are subject to the actions - or inaction - of your neighbors, not to mention wetland areas in your community

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They can't wait to start bugging us

A mosquito develops from egg to adulthood in 4 to 7 days.

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They don't like to travel

Most mosquitoes remain within a 1 mile radius of their breeding site.

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How do they find us?
Scent, Sight and Heat

Mosquitoes locate bloodhosts by scent, sight and heat. From 100 feet away (30 meters) mosquitoes can smell your scent, especially the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale. Biting flies are even better; they can smell their prey from 300 feet (100 meters) away. Because CO2 is present in the atmosphere (plants take in CO2 and give off oxygen), mosquitoes respond to higher-than-normal concentrations, especially when the CO2 is mixed with host-odor. They follow your scent upwind, and can see you at a distance of about 30 feet (10 meters).

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  The 9:00 to 5:00 Mosquito

  Aedes aegypti is the scientific name of the mosquito most often used in laboratory research. It originated in Africa and spread throughout the tropics. It carries disease and is a major pest because it seems to prefer omnivorous (eats anything) bloodhosts such as monkeys, apes and people, and because it is not afraid to make its home indoors. Three characteristics make Aedes aegypti popular with laboratory researchers. First, colonies can be maintained in an artificial environment. Second, it will enter the small chambers of laboratory equipment most other mosquitoes avoid. Most important, it is active during the day when laboratory researchers are at work. Although it is convenient to use, Aedes aegypti laboratory results may not represent the way mosquitoes behave in your back yard at night. Outdoor trials in the evening against large populations of native species are the most reliable test method.

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What's wrong with bug zappers?

  They kill beneficial insects, attract mosquitoes but don't kill them, help mosquitoes find standing water to lay their eggs, and spray insect fragments into the air. The Ultra Violet (UV) light from zappers attracts all night-flying insects. Each night zappers kill about 3,000 beneficial insects such as moths and butterflies, which pollinate flowers, but only a handful of mosquitoes. A Notre Dame University study in South Bend Indiana showed that people with a zapper in their backyard got bit 10% more than people without one because zappers attracted mosquitoes but did not kill them. UV light also helps mosquitoes find water where they lay their eggs. When UV light is reflected off the surface of water it is polarized. Like polarized sunglasses that reduce glare and help you see objects more clearly, the mosquitoes follow the polarized light to the water to lay their eggs. Because they attract large bugs, they are purposefully designed to explode them so they don't accumulate and become a fire hazard. Exploding bug-fragments drift on the air. People and food nearby may be contaminated by insect-fragments from the zapper.

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  What's wrong with sprays and foggers?

Our research shows that 70% of Americans view their backyard mosquito problem as moderate to severe. The backyard mosquito control method Americans use most is sprays and foggers - arguably the most expensive, ineffective and environmentally harmful thing to do! Sprays are expensive. They are effective for only 2 to 4 hours, then the mosquitoes are back. Sprays are indiscriminate. They kill every insect: ladybug, butterfly, praying mantis, earthworm - everything! Worst of all, mosquitoes that survive come back stronger than ever. In as little as 6 generations (two months under ideal conditions) mosquitoes can build up immunity to a pesticide. If you rely on pesticide sprays and foggers, you will need more and more of them to do the job, and you will have to use them more and more often. The best way to make pesticides effective is to minimize their use. Make them your last choice, not your first choice.

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  How about Citronella candles and smoking coils?

Citronella candles and smoking coils repel mosquitoes, but you have to stay in the smoky plume to be protected. Citronella is an essential oil of citrus plants. The smoking coils contain pesticides. Dr. Robert Novak of the University of Illinois tested these products for ABC News. He reported that when smoke from a coil covered a human test subject's shin, the mosquitoes flew around the subject's leg and bit them on the calf!

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What are the alternatives?

You can spray. It will give you relief from mosquitoes - for two hours. But it will kill every butterfly, ladybug, preying mantis, and earthworm too!

There are zappers, and even zappers with octenol lures. But without CO2 and a thermal lure, they remain ineffective. Octenol is expensive, so they use very little of it. The Dragonfly's octenol lure has 20 times more octenol than the lures supplied with zappers. Zappers kill 3,000 beneficial insects each night, but only a handful of mosquitoes.

  There are thousand-dollar products mounted on a barbecue stand that use a fuel cell to convert propane to CO2. Another system, nearly as expensive, is powered with electricity. They vacuum the mosquitoes that follow their CO2 plume. Both disperse CO2 but no octenol. Neither has the settings offered by the Dragonfly System®.

Remember, features are not the biggest difference between the Dragonfly System® and these other products. Where they attempt to kill all the mosquitoes in an area - an impossible task, in the opinion of almost all entomologists, the Dragonfly System® (100's of Dollars cheaper) aims at truly protecting people with a double line of defense. First, the Dragonfly® lure, using heat, CO2 and octenol kills thousands of biting insects (but, most importantly, it draws them away from people). Meanwhile, people are protected by the Conceal™ inhibitor in the Mosquito 'Cognito® device, the second half of the Dragonfly System®.

 

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