Mosquitos are one of the biggest and most dangerous pests in the world. They kill more humans a year than any other human through the spread of diseases such as malaria. Therefore, keeping populations of mosquitoes down is critical to public health.
Everyone has their part to play in this. So in this article, we look at how to choose the right mosquito products to protect your home and family.
Understanding Mosquito Control Methods
There are numerous ways that you can control mosquitoes in your area. Here is a brief introduction to both options and how they can help.
Common methods of controlling mosquitoes
The two most common methods are chemical (unnatural) and natural repellents.
Chemical repellents are unnatural chemicals used to ward off mosquitos. Many of these control methods can be applied to the skin or used in the home to repel them. These chemicals are often DEET or picaridin-based. They tend to last a long time and are rather effective.
Natural repellents utilise natural plants and scents to create a custom fragrance that naturally repels the little insect. There are numerous options for this, and many are made with one or a blend of tea tree, lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, or catmint oils. These can be applied to the skin or used to fragrance in the home.
Pros and cons of each method
Both of these options have their merits and drawbacks. For instance, against natural repellents, chemical ones tend to need to be replaced less frequently. Those who lead very busy lives might prefer this as they have to pay less attention. However, chemical repellents are not very safe for the environment. They might also have an impact on the health of other beneficial guests around your property such as bees. Or they might upset beloved family pets.
It has not been confirmed whether the chemical treatments are known to prevent biting or just confuse mosquitoes so they don’t bite. Either way, they’re proven effective for up to 10 hours.
In contrast, natural repellents may only last for an hour at a time, after which, you will need to reapply any treatment you have.
There are also some concerns that treatments are going to be risky for children’s health. While chemical options are deemed safe for children over 3 months, many natural choices can be risky for those under 12 months. And many people can have allergies to naturally occurring repellents as well.
And neither of these options helps with killing the mosquitos. They just repel them, they can return when the effects of the repellent wear off.
Choosing the Right Mosquito-Killing Products
Therefore, people must choose the right kind of mosquito-killing product. There are lots of options
Evaluating your mosquito problem
The first thing to consider is the mosquito problem you’re having. If you’ve got mosquitos biting you while you sleep, you need something that is going to protect you throughout the night. In contrast, if you’re getting bitten on regular, but shorter walks, then you need shorter protection.
And consider if you’ve got younger children or those with allergies.
Best mosquito control products on the market
There are numerous mosquito control products on the market. These include the following options.
Insect repellent sprays
These sprays are designed to be applied to exposed parts of the body as a way to repel mosquito bites. Spray applications need to be replaced regularly and there is a risk of an allergic reaction.
Mosquito traps are one of the best options for killing mosquitoes because that is the job of the trap. They attract and kill the mosquitos that land in them.
Mosquito nets are an effective way to keep you safe at night. They can be placed around a bed and are especially good while camping. The problem is that when the net is not set properly, it does allow mosquitos to get in and bite.
Factors to consider when selecting a product
There are numerous factors to consider when selecting the product to use. For one, you have to choose a product that is going to be suitable for your needs. Then you have to choose a product that will not cause adverse effects, like an allergic reaction.
You might also want to consider local laws and rules. Some places might put specific control methods in, partly because while mosquitos are a pain, literally and figuratively, they are also an important part of the ecosystem.
Finally, you might need to consider your ethical standpoint. You might have no problem killing the mosquitos. But you might do, therefore you will want to repel them, rather than kill them. Or you might be concerned about the environmental damage that is caused through the use of man-made and unnatural options.
Natural and Eco-Friendly Mosquito Control
If you are concerned by the impact your choices have on the wider environment, then there are several options to consider.
Natural repellent options
There are lots of natural repellent options. These include those made from native plants to Australia. These can smell nice on the skin, so they are a very attractive option.
DIY mosquito control solutions
DIY mosquito control solutions are possible. You can create the mixtures so they mimic commercially available products, or you can create your own cocktail of natural mosquito control options.
Environmental impact of mosquito control methods
There are some environmental impacts from controlling mosquitos. When using chemicals, there is the risk of infecting the food chain. And killing mosquitos can have an impact on the food chain as there is less prey, especially if female mosquitoes are killed before they lay their eggs.
However, at the same time, disease can be less of a problem in a local area. Therefore, it is important to control mosquito numbers, but not to an extent where numbers are significantly lowered.
Mosquito Control in Australian Conditions
Australia has specific control issues that make it hard to reduce the number of mosquitos.
Unique challenges of mosquito control in Australia
The environment of Australia is particularly great for mosquitoes. Lots of local water sources are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In addition, Australia has the perfect temperature for the species.
At the same time, urban areas tend to have lots of ponds and pools, which are great for breeding and living near. And because humans live in close communities, mosquitoes have lots of prey on which they can feed.
At the same time, some areas have had native control, like predators, reduced, so mosquito numbers are not controlled that way.
Tips specific to Australian readers
Numerous tips are specific to Australia. For one, Australian homeowners need to ensure that they are not allowing any standing water near their property. They should also try to use natural plants like eucalyptus in the garden, which can repel mosquitos from the area.
During breeding seasons, it is best to use a mosquito-killing device in the garden. And mosquito nets are an effective defence against being bitten.
When taking walks, apply natural repellents often to ensure there are no bites when out and about. And if possible, plan walks that are going to be away from prime mosquito locations.
Maintaining a Mosquito-Free Yard
The product outdoor mosquito mozzie trap is in the picture
It is important to maintain a mosquito-free yard as the first line of defence. Here are some considerations.
Ongoing mosquito control measures
Just because one season or year the number of mosquitoes is low or not at all, it doesn’t mean that you should stop controls. Just a few entering your yard in one year can transform into thousands the next.
Keeping numbers low is about ensuring that your control is ongoing.
It is important to consider seasonal differences. Bites are normally from the early spring to early Autumn. This is when the control measures should be applied at their highest. However, there should still be some controls in the winter, just in case there is a warm winter and some become active
Mosquitos are a big problem, they can cause irritation and can spread diseases. With effective control measures in place, their numbers can spread to be a major problem. Using a mixture of natural repellents, and removing critical habitats that benefit the mosquito and mosquito-killing products can help control numbers so bites remain low.