I confess that the wide response to my recent post “I Have Met the Enemy and She Is…Mosquito” surprised me; when I wrote the post I had no idea that so many other people actually hate these flying menaces as much as I do. The fact that many of the readers took the time to add their comments to my blog was an added bonus.
The responses ranged from hilarious to informative and everything in-between. People shared their own tips for combating this insect, they shared their sad tales of being kept awake all night due to the droning of a single mosquito SOMEWHERE in their room, and they shared information about the terrible diseases these creepy creatures carry in various countries around the world.
After I finished reading all the comments I realized that a follow-up post was needed so that I could recap the information and tips and also share a few more interesting facts I’ve discovered about this insect that thrives on making people’s lives miserable. Below, in no particular order, are some of the comments and suggestions I received on the original post (additional notes in italics added by me):
- Anti-bug spray with DEET
- There is some kind of software that plays sounds to ward them off ( mosquitoes101.com states that consumer reviews found that both electrical and battery operated ultrasonic mosquito devices are totally ineffective mosquito repellents.)
- Mosquito nets
- Drought works—aren’t enough puddles for the mosquitoes to really get going
- EVERYTHING bites me, even things that I cannot see bite me, and will come from 50 miles away to do so. The quote on my tombstone will probably be, “Something bit me!!!”
- Started using straight (light) mineral oil on my skin after showering to lock in moisture, and I think the mosquitoes are turned off by it
- Keep a fan on “high”; mosquitoes can’t fly above about a 3 mph air stream
- Eat a lot of garlic, don’t use perfumes or scented washing products
- I hate cats and mosquitoes but unlike a cat I can kill mosquitoes
- Mosquitoes suck. I read that the only plants that actually repel mosquitoes are ones that are on fire
- Pour petrol over your garden pond and set fire to it! (Might need to notify the fire brigade first.)
- Mosquitoes will be alive long after we’re gone. They’re probably focusing all their evolutionary energies for interstellar travel
- In the garden I wear a lightweight towel draped over my head to cover my ears and neck (about 24 inches by 12 inches) and a mosquito coil around my waist. In the house a mosquito coil is always lit, especially at night
- Avon’s Skin So Soft lotion
- A natural recipe for mosquito repellent: 24 drops of lemon grass oil, 12 drops of oil of peppermint in 4 oz distilled witch hazel. Shake well and spray on clothes and surrounding area. I love the way it smells and it works
- Eat garlic on everything, because you have to eat enough that you secrete it through your skin when you sweat
- Bats are supposed to be awesome for eating the little buggers, but how do I attract bats to my bat house that I’ve had up for 8 years now (BatManagement.com has an interesting article on what you can do to help attract bats to your yard and/or bat house.)
- Mosquitoes love cool, dark, dank places and I presume your garden has some choice spots they love to hide out in (My yard is indeed shady and apparently is a choice spot for the skeeters. Have a look at the pictures of my front and back yards)
- It‘s the rainy season in the Philippines and here the mosquito is really the enemy. They carry with them a fatal disease called Dengue (I admit that I didn’t know what Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever were until I looked them up. The World Health Organization has a good article explaining how this disease is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, and also discusses key facts about the diseases.)
- Coffee grounds have been shown to kill mosquito larva. Also had success with using dried used coffee grounds over the skin; the smell gets a bit heavy after a while but it keeps them away
- Burn Neem tree leaves (Wikipedia states that the Neem tree is in the mahogany family Meliacae and is native to the Indian Subcontinent, growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The website Discover Neem contains additional interesting information about a variety of uses for the tree leaves and bark.)
- I have experienced a lot on encounters with those immoral species, some of them were big enough to have recognizable faces and all. I tried spraying deodorant through a flame, install a net on my window, electrically charged the net and finally smear myself with repellent cream. No use. Unless you set your house on fire they wouldn’t leave.
- It’s a bigger enemy in a city like Bombay, which is plagued with malaria, dengue and chikungunya (Another viral disease spread by certain species of mosquitoes. Check out the WHO article)
- The OFF clip-on allows me to sit on the porch and read in peace
- I heard people say lemongrass and lavender are effective for repelling them
- Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing, rough clothing/hair, sweat, people who eat a lot of sugary foods, and people with high amounts of estrogen. So knowing this, a bald, fasting man wearing bright spandex after a shower should have no issues with mosquitoes whatsoever!
- Try making garlic water and putting it on. Try vinegar water and onions—make a ¼ solution of each and rub it on. Perhaps even olive oil would work….
- Mosquitoes??? Oh, silly me I thought it was MOJITO’s…Well, replace the lime with a lemon and the nasty things won’t land in your drink!
- Brewer’s Yeast and other B vitamins are claimed to alter the body chemistry and keep mosquitoes away…
- Muskol is the best product I’ve tried. One thing I don’t agree with in your blog is that you can’t eat them. I have had many a mosquito fly into my mouth and while they are kind of disgusting in texture, at least if they are going to bite me, I can bite a few of them back
- Coming from Australia, it would be remiss of me not to tell you that eating Vegemite repels mosquitoes (The Urban Dictionary gives 21 humourous definitions of this Australian spread that is made from Brewer’s Yeast)
- Cutter Insect Repellent
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Okay, I think it’s time to stop now; this post has turned into a much longer one than I anticipated, so I’ll shut it down with just a couple more facts I learned while searching the WWW.
- There are over 2700 species of mosquitoes worldwide (so I doubt we really stand a chance against them in the long run unless we wipe ourselves out too)
- After a female mosquito mates, digests a blood meal and lays eggs, she again seeks a blood meal to produce a second batch of eggs. Depending on her stamina and the weather, she may repeat this process many times without mating again. (Refer to bracket comment in #1 to see what I think this means)
Finally, I want to tell you that my husband was diligent in his fight against the flying hordes. He used to come home with every imaginable type of mosquito repellent, including machines run by electricity and ones run by propane, and he set them up around the yard. But one of the favourite stories we tell of him is the day he came home with an “Exterminator”, an electronic bug zapper that looks somewhat like a badminton racquet.
Gary looked like a little boy who had been given a new puppy; he was so happy to be able to strike out at the insects that were attacking him. The first afternoon he had the Exterminator he took a walk around the yard. We could hear his progress from inside the house, just by listening to the “zip, zip, zip” sounds coming from outside. I’m sure he walked all the way around the property, swinging the racquet and electrifying mosquitoes. He always said that purchase was the best $30 he ever spent.
I miss hearing him zap away at the mosquitoes, but the memory of him doing it still brings a smile to my face.
That’s it for mosquitoes, I promise. On to other subjects now…how do you feel about mice?