Archive for Mosquito Control

Does Garlic Really Work as a Mosquito Deterrent? – Home Remedy Fact or Myth

Mosquito Tasmania crop Does Garlic Really Work as a Mosquito Deterrent?   Home Remedy Fact or Myth   With the rise of mosquito-carried viruses, many people are looking for the best form of mosquito repellent. Unfortunately, many repellents that are effective contain harmful chemicals. According to old wives’ tales, garlic is supposed to be an effective way to repel mosquitoes. Despite the pervasiveness of this home remedy, many people are still uncertain if it actually works.

How it Works

Mosquitoes are a common occurrence in summer months. The female of the species needs to have blood so that her eggs can survive. Due to this, she will bite humans or animals to get a supply of blood. Many mosquito repellents are based on chemicals that block the mosquito from smelling humans. Mosquitoes have extremely weak olfactory powers, so they are unable to smell things like garlic. Instead, garlic is purported to work by stopping the insect from smelling the lactic acid and carbon dioxide given off by humans. According to this theory, garlic-based mosquito repellents should work by blocking the mosquitoes ability to sense where the person or animal is.

Does it Actually Work?

Rubbing some garlic on the skin can be a simple and cheap experiment but there is very little proof that garlic can actually repel mosquitoes. Generally, the most effective repellents are made out of products like DEET. There are other natural mosquito repellents that can be effective.

Alternative Home Remedies

Rather than using garlic, individuals can try different home remedies to keep away the mosquitoes. Catnip is supposed to drive away mosquitoes and citronella candles have been used as a mosquito repellent for years. Citronella candles can be found at most department and hardware stores. For evening picnics or outdoor events, these candles just have to be burned nearby to drive away the mosquitoes. Additionally, citronella oil can be rubbed on the skin and is effective for up to ten hours. Other than catnip and citronella, neem oil has been shown to be as effective as DEET. The United States National Research Council completed a study that showed that neem oil had similar success rates as DEET in driving away mosquitoes.

Although garlic has been debunked as an effective mosquito repellent, there are still home remedies available that can keep the mosquitoes away. Ranging from candles to essential oils, these remedies can reduce someone’s exposure to mosquito born viruses and limit the number of bites.

If you have any more questions about mosquitos, contact Clegg’s online or phone at 888-672-5344.


Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito

Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes

As the weather warms up in the Carolinas, it sometimes seems that mosquitoes are everywhere. Most people consider mosquitoes bothersome, but they can be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry and transmit a number of diseases to humans and animals, including West Nile virus, malaria, several forms of encephalitis, and other diseases that are less common in the United States, like dengue fever and chikungunya. Some of these diseases may cause serious complications or be deadly. Dogs and cats may also be at risk, as mosquitoes transmit heartworms.

mosquito cdc small Diseases Caused by MosquitoesBy some estimates, there are more than 2,500 different types of mosquitoes around the world, with around 150 of them found in the U.S. Male mosquitoes feed on the nectar of plants, while females feed on the blood of mammals, birds and reptiles. Male mosquitoes live an average of seven days, while females live around 30 days. Only a small number of species cause most of the problems we see with diseases and even fewer are carrying these transmittable diseases. It’s still good to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Here are some tips to help you avoid mosquito bites:

  1. Use mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus. This is especially important if you’ll be outside between dusk and dawn since this is when the mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are most active. Note that some of the natural repellants need frequent re-application and do not offer the same amount of protection as DEET.
  2. Wear pants and long sleeves, especially if you’ll be working or playing in wooded areas.
  3. Remove sources of standing water on your property. Mosquitoes require standing water to lay and hatch eggs, though specific environments may differ by species. On average, mosquito eggs hatch in around 10 days, so if you have areas of standing water in your yard, you should dump them out frequently.
  4. Make sure windows and doors you plan to leave open have screens.
  5. Talk to your vet about heartworm prevention drugs for your dogs and cats.
  6. Get more information from your pest care professional on mosquito prevention and treatment programs.

Another word of warning: if you will be traveling internationally, do some research ahead of time about the risks of mosquito-borne illness in the areas you will be visiting, and take precautions while you are there. If you become ill or show any unusual symptoms after you’ve returned home, call your doctor and make certain he or she knows you have been out of the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about keeping the mosquito population in check around your home, please speak with your Clegg’s technician or give us a call today.