It’s time to behold the wonderful transition from summer to autumn with its color and weather changes. Many of us love this season since it exudes a romantic atmosphere. However, as much as we want to stay outdoors and savor what nature has to offer, our greatest enemy remains vigilant as ever—mosquitoes—the bane of American cities and all its civilizations.
Mosquitoes are still around even during fall, so we are continually in a war zone inside or outside our homes. But annoying as they are, they don’t have to ruin any of our activities. We fight them off. Note that they come in different types. Firstly, know what kind of germ-spreading mosquitoes are usually roaming around the country.
Aedes species mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti)
During the Spanish-American war, Aedes aegypti, commonly known as yellow fever mosquito, brought so many casualties to US troops rather than the war. They commonly infest some areas in Southern Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, which is why yellow fever mosquito attractant and killing methods have become most popular. Aside from yellow fever, Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for dengue transmissions.
Culex species mosquitoes (Cx. pipiens, Cx. tarsalis, Cx. quinquefasciatus)
Culex mosquitoes, also known as house mosquitoes, are usually found in the northern, eastern, and central parts of the US, varying according to their particular kind. They look pale brown with white stripes, prevalent where there is plenty of stagnant, polluted water. Depending on the weather, their females can lay eggs between 50 and 400 eggs all at once. Culex mosquitoes spread viruses that cause St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile fever.
Anopheles species mosquitoes (An. freeborni and An. quadrimaculatus)
Anopheles species, universally known as malaria mosquitoes, range in colors from dark brown to black. Their stomach areas usually point upward when they rest. They’re most recognizable by their wings, having black and white scales. Anopheles species mosquitoes are held responsible for malaria epidemics.
A Few Interesting Facts about Mosquitoes
Only the females bite.
Contrary to what you might know, not all mosquitoes bite. Only the females do. Your blood is where they get the proteins and compounds they need for their egg-laying.
They love carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is the way mosquitoes trace their victims. Their special organ called a maxillary palp helps them track the carbon dioxide we release from our breaths.
They are greedy.
They can even drink blood up to three times their body weight, and that’s a lot.
They not only bite humans.
Not all types of mosquitoes are human bloodsuckers. Some types suck from birds and frogs too.
They don’t live that long.
Mosquitoes might be a great nuisance to your life, but they only live less than 2 months. That doesn’t have to mean you don’t act on their banishment.
Learn the natural ways you can repel or attract them, depending on what mosquito-fighting methods suit you.
DIY Natural Mosquito Repellants
Some people are simply mosquito magnets, especially the sweaty ones. When you’re out hiking or winding in the backyard, the best you can do is to use natural repellents you can prepare yourself. This comes in handy if you have sensitive skin like children’s. Here are some that work best and how they’re prepared:
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Even just a 32 percent mixture of lemon eucalyptus oil, preferably with a bit of witch hazel or sunflower oil, can already provide mosquito protection for three hours.
Malarial mosquitoes are best repelled using thyme oil. Mix 4 drops of thyme oil to one teaspoon of base oil (e.g., jojoba or olive oil) for a brew. Use 5 drops of thyme oil for 2 ounces of water for a spray.
Combine soybean oil with lemongrass oil. A mere 2 percent of soybean oil can already provide long-lasting protection.
Tea tree oil
Also known as melaleuca oil, this oil with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties is proven to be effective in repelling mosquitoes and many other insects.
Cinnamon oil can do both—kill mosquito eggs while repelling Asian tiger mosquitoes in particular. To make a diluted solution, combine 24 drops of cinnamon oil with 4 ounces of water.
A Few Effective Mosquito Attractants
Here are alternative ways to trap and kill mosquitoes:
Yeast and beer trap
Yeast gives off huge amounts of CO2, attracting mosquitoes effectively. Use the beer trap consisting of an empty soda bottle and a half can of beer. Wait as you trap.
If you want to readily kill mosquitoes within your radius, use a mosquito magnet. It can quickly suck in and kill mosquitoes by thousands.
Or zap them all
When you’re determined to hunt them all down, get your killer weapon ready, get to their favorite locations, then zap them all.
We all have different ways to fend off mosquitoes. Either through repellants or attractants, you decide which is best for you.