Child being sprayed with bug sprayMosquitos. They’re one of summer’s biggest nuisances.  None of us are immune to the itchy, irritating mosquito bite.  And while we can’t hide from mosquitos all-together, there are some simple things we can do to prevent them.  By understanding a few basic facts about mosquitoes and arming yourself with the right lines of defense, you’ll be well on your way to a more enjoyable summer.

5 Facts About Mosquitoes

  1. Mosquitos love water.  In fact, they depend on it to breed and survive.  They particularly love standing water, like that left in a wheelbarrow or child’s toy outside.  Even the tiniest amount is enough for a female mosquito to lay her eggs and for the larvae to grow.
  2. In order to reproduce, female mosquitoes need the protein found in blood.  That’s why they prey on humans and animals. Only female mosquitoes bite us. The males feed on flower nectar.
  3. A female mosquito finds its blood meal by detecting carbon dioxide and body heat in the air.  A mosquito can detect carbon dioxide from as far as 100 feet away.  This is their signal that a meal is nearby.
  4. The itchy red bump you get on your skin after being bit is an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva.  
  5. They’re more than just a nuisance.  They can transmit serious diseases such as Zika, West Nile and malaria.  They can also transmit diseases to dogs, such as heart worms and eastern equine encephalitis .

5 Tips for Reducing Them

1.Eliminate their favorite breeding source by eliminating standing water on your property.  This could include buckets, old tires, clogged gutters, kids’ toys, dog bowls, or any other small containers. Tip items like wheelbarrows upside down when not in use to keep water from collecting. Also change the water in bird baths, potted plant trays and fountains weekly.

2. Install a DynaTrap in your yard.  The DynaTrap mimics the conditions that mosquitos are attracted to through the creation of carbon dioxide and the light and heat given off by the UV Bulb. The mosquitos, upon coming in contact with the DynaTrap, are silently vacuumed into a cage. The DynaTrap require no pesticides or chemicals, and simply needs to be emptied every one to two weeks.

3. Protect yourself, your family and your dog with mosquito repellant.  There are a wide variety of options, including DEET free, organic products like EcoSmart Organic Insect Repellant and Cape Cod All Natural Spray Repellant.  These harness the power of lemongrass, eucalyptus and other natural oils to keep the mosquitos away.

4. Spray your property with a topical repellent.  Products like Bonide Mosquito Beater and Maggie’s Farm Flea, Tick & Mosquito Killer come with easy, ready-to-spray applicators.  Most last for a couple of weeks and are pleasantly scented with cedar oil, citronella, geranium oil, lemongrass and other all-natural oils.  Or consider hiring a professional like the Cape Cod Plant Doctor to treat your landscape on a scheduled basis.  Treatments are cost-effective and free you of the burden, particularly in August when you’d rather be enjoying the outside than working in it.

5. Mosquito Coil Burners are a simple, low-cost and aesthetically pleasing way to ward mosquitos from cookouts and patio areas.  The coils create a smoke barrier that drives away mosquitos, gnats and other insects for several hours. The terra cotta, covered dishes protect the coils from inclement weather while burning.  These are particularly great for poolside, decks and campsites.

As always, our staff at Agway is happy to answer any questions you have about the large selection of mosquito products we carry.  Taking small steps to prevent mosquitos will go a long way towards a more enjoyable summer!