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Mosquitoes are blood-feeding ectoparasites of people and animals. The English call mosquitoes "gnats". There are about 100 trillion mosquitoes with at least 3,450 different species in the world. They are found from the tropics to the Arctic regions. All of the families belong to the order Diptera and are related to house flies, gnats and midges. What makes mosquitoes different from all other flies is the presence of a long, piercing mouthpart called a proboscis and the scales on the hind margins and veins of their wings. Morphologically, mosquito males differ from females in that they have feathery antennae, long feathery palps and smaller mouthparts. Mosquitoes develop through complete metamorphosis and have four distinct states: egg, larva or "wriggler", pupa or "tumbler" and adult.

Mosquito eggs can be classified into three groups: 1. eggs laid singly on the still or very slow-moving water surface (Anopheles), with each egg having a series of "floats" along its perimeter; 2. eggs laid in groups forming rafts made by the adult females that float on water surfaces (Culex and Culiseta); and 3. eggs laid singly out of the water in the mud (Aedes and Psorophora). Mosquito larvae are aquatic; they feed on water mites, water fleas, algae, protozoans and minute organic debris by sweeping the food into their mouths with a pair of feeding brushes.

Mosquito pupae also live in the water. Adult mosquitoes are small, about 1/8" long, with a single pair of membranous wings and are free living. A typical mosquito weights about 2.5 milligrams, or about 20,000 mosquitoes per pound. Females of most species require a human and/or animal blood meal before oviposition, utilizing the protein in blood to produce their eggs and bring them to maturity. There are an estimated 10 trillion mosquitoes produced just in the U. S. each summer with about 170 species. To give you some idea how many 10 trillion is - that amounts to 41,000 mosquitoes for every man, woman and child or enough to fill the entire Grand Canyon! A mosquito's brain is the size of the period at the end of this sentence, yet it has outwitted man's "controls" since the dawn of recorded history! It still can not find a way to fly into a 3 mph wind, however.

Mosquitoes seriously harm vast numbers of people worldwide by transmitting pathogenic organisms that cause disease and death, especially in tropical areas. Including Eastern, Western, California and St. Louis encephalitis, heartworm, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and filariasis. Malaria is a constant threat even in the United States where known vectors exist. Malaria, among all insect-borne diseases, has been the most deadly in modern history. During the last century alone it had killed between 100 - 300 million people, mostly babies and small kids and it infects and debilitates hundreds of millions of others each year per WHO! CNN Trivia 2/4/98 noted that 700,000,000 people a year are infected by diseases carried by mosquitoes. In comparison, only 21 million people died in combat in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

Over 60 species of Anopheles mosquitoes are known to be capable of transmitting malaria. Travelers returning from abroad can constantly introduce the causal agents of malaria, which are microscopic protozoa in the genus Plasmodium spp. On average, one person dies every 30 seconds as a result of a little mosquito "bite". In Canada hordes of mosquitoes can actually darken the sky - researchers were bitten about 9,000 times per minute; at that rate they could lose 1/2 their blood in 2 hours and die from blood loss! But our primary reason for controlling mosquitoes usually is only to lessen the annoyance caused by their bites and then only secondarily to reduce the transmission of human and equine viral encephalitis and dog heartworm.

The annoyance caused by mosquito feeding can include the itching, restlessness, loss of sleep and nervous irritation in all people, pets and domestic animals that suffer from their attacks. Mosquitoes do not really "bite", but they penetrate their victim's hide or skin with their proboscis or hollow, flexible snout. The female has a pump in her head which she uses like a turkey baster to suck in your blood. The average meal takes about 1 millionth of a gallon per bite. Their saliva makes us itch. Usually this minor annoyance can not be documented in terms of economic loss, but, obviously, there may be some major economic losses, e.g., decreased recreation income and lower milk and beef production due to blood loss and irritation. Occasionally extremely large numbers of mosquitoes can actually cause the death of domestic animals through blood loss and anaphylactic shock from reactions to mass injections of mosquito saliva.

Mosquitoes are not strong fliers - so fans easily blow them away. The reproductive success of mosquitoes depends in a large part on the ability of gravid females to locate and select oviposition sites that will support the growth development of their offspring. Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint diluted in water (1 part per 50,000 parts of water) create an adverse environmental condition that renders the water repellent and/or lethal to all stages of growth.

Maintain tight screens and weather-stripping. Use sodium vapor lamps or yellow non-attractive light bulbs at outside entrances. Remove or empty frequently any containers that may hold rainwater (flower pots, tires, cans). Clean out clogged roof gutters holding stagnant water. As a last resort, add light-weight oil to surfaces of ponds, ditches and even animal hoof prints in mud where mosquitoes may breed. Community effort is needed. Try the proper, professional use of entomopathogenic bacteria, e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis strains (Bt) or Bacillus sphaericus (Neide) (Bs), another important pathogen of mosquitoes, diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, dehumidifiers and/or fans and other Intelligent Pest Management® controls before spraying any volatile, synthetic pesticide poisons.

  1. Remove all sources of stagnant or standing water if possible, e.g., old tires, bird baths, cans, trash barrels, wading pools, etc., or add Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, at a rate of 1/3 oz. per gallon of water.

  2. Spray the area and drains with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (1 oz. per quart of water). Remove or spray bushes and dense shrubbery and vines by doors and patios with hose end sprayers and enzymes (1 - 2 oz. per gallon of water).

  3. Turn on fans to “blow them away.” Sit in the breeze (even if it is from a fan). They will not bother you.

  4. Mosquito bite relief: Soak bites in Epsom salt water or apply a paste of salt mixed into lard or cold cream.

  5. Lighting fogging or spraying diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (2 oz. per gallon) or garlic oil will control mosquitoes immediately.

  6. Rub citronella oil or scented geraniums on clothing or exposed areas or burn citronella candles or wash yourself, your pet and your clothes with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint.

  7. Pennyroyal, rubbed on the skin (if your are not sensitive), tansy or scented geraniums planted near a door, or basil plants will repel mosquitoes. Wear protective clothing or vinegar on the skin. CNN 8/28/01: Iowa State says catnip is 10x more effect than DEET, so a very small amount of catnip oil can be a very effective mosquito repellant.

  8.  Practice proper exclusion; repair 16 to 18 mesh screens; seal windows and doors and caulk.

  9.  Caution - Test anything you want to put on your skin only on a small area first.

  10. Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing, carbon dioxide and sweat. Prime feeding times are late dusk and early evening. Some people react more seriously to mosquito saliva, the chemical that causes the bites to swell and itch. Carry a small “spritzer” bottle filled with very diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint, apply and rub into to bite area - this normally will reduce the swelling and itching. 


If you still are seeing mosquitoes, 'read The Best Control© or The Best Control II© on CD-ROM - (Call 1-800-221-6188. Note: The latest chapter is at "The Best Control".



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