BEST CONTROL FOR
By Stephen Tvedten
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Tips On Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites On Your Property.
The objective is to eliminates all water sites where mosquitoes can breed. Remember, some species of mosquitoes can breed in as little as one-half inch of standing water.
Some mosquitoes can hatch in as little as one week. Where drinking water must be made available-as for pets and other animals-it is necessary to change the water and flush out the container at least once a week to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes.
Following is a list of things you can do to try to reduce mosquito breeding grounds on your property.
Increase water flow and decrease water surface area and improve natural drainage. Routinely flush or drain water breeding areas.
Clean out your eaves, troughs and gutters. Constantly monitor for new larval habitats.
Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed to eliminate cool hiding places.
Remove old tires or drill holes in those used for playground equipment to allow them to drain.
Turn over or remove plastic pots, buckets and tin cans. Cover trash containers.
Pick up broken, unused or discarded toys.
Pick up all beverage containers and cups and/or plates.
Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water in pockets or indentations.
Pump out bilges on boats or add enzyme cleaner or some food-grade DE or starch.
Replace water in birdbaths at least once a week or add a drop or two of enzymes.
Replace water in pet or other animal feeding dishes or troughs at least once a week.
Dispose of broken or used kiddie pools.
Pick up plastic wrappers used for food or other products; mosquitoes can breed even in a potato chipbag that has collected water.
Don’t leave garbage can lids lying around upside down check basins at road corners.
Check plants, such as bromeliads, with large leaves that may collect water in axils, where the leaves join the stem. Eliminate the plant, keep it inside, or flush it out with a spray of water or tip the plant over at least once a week or add a drop or two of enzyme cleaner.
Check holes in trees or stumps or low spots that may collect water; remove stumps, plug holes with sand or aerosol foam or cement, or flush out with spray of water or diluted enzyme cleaner at least once a week.
Change water in bottom of plant containers, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Fix dripping outdoor faucets or pipes that create pools of water and air conditioner drain outlets.
Check wheelbarrows, pet/livestock watering containers, sump pump pits, swampy areas, bromeliads, low spots in tarps, flower pots, vases, dry wells, rain barrels, ornamental pools, flat roofs and ditches.
Add enzyme cleaner or food-grade DE or starch to all standing water sources.
Cultivate bat, dragonfly and damselfly populations to eat them.
Empedocles, a physician and philosopher in the mid-fifth century B.C., is credited with draining marshes and running two rivers together through the town of Selinunte; thus he prevented the water from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. He also broke a gap in the rock wall behind his native town of Agrigentum so the “healthy north wind could blow the fever-bearing vapors (and mosquitoes) of the plain far our to sea.” In 1909 Brazilian rubber plantations paid workers to smoke II Negro Mortes or “the black cigars of death” on the verandas of their mansions. These lethal cigars were made of tobacco, chemicals and petroleum tar; the fumes were effective, but it is estimated one smoker died for every 5 billion mosquitoes that were killed.
Diet for Mosquitoes? University of Florida scientist, Don Borovsky, is quite willing to share his recipe to control mosquito populations.
First, take 100,000 mosquito ovaries, dried and crushed into a powder that contains their digestive control hormone (see Bug Juice). From the nearest pool or pond, scrape off the green scum, also known as chlorella, an algae. Insert the hormone into the chlorella, make it into a pill, then place the pill into any water body where mosquitoes are known to breed. Then watch the larvae feast on the chlorella. Famine follows.
Borovsky said when he first pulled out mosquito ovaries, homogenized them and inserted them back into mosquitoes, he found that the mosquitoes produced no more eggs.
“So at first we thought we had a birth control pill,” Borovsky said. “But then we found that the reason they were not producing eggs was because they were not digesting, so then we knew we had a diet pill, not a birth control pill.”
“Fortunately, now we can synthesize the hormone, so we don’t have to use 100,000 ovaries for each batch anymore,” Borovsky said.
The synthesized hormone is inexpensive, as is chlorella, which is found and produced worldwide. Chlorella, in fact, turns out to be the perfect ride for the mosquito hormone, because it can be freeze-dried and stored for long periods and then brought back to life as the deadly diet pill.
“This is a natural bullet that we can use in the environment because the hormone doesn’t stay in the environment,” Borovsky said. “The chlorella stops producing the hormone within three weeks.”
That’s by design, Borovsky said. If the hormone were incorporated into the chlorella genome and chlorella continued to produce the hormone, making it omnipresent in the environment, mosquitoes could become resistant to it. But the hormone sits outside the genome and, after the third division of the chlorella, it no longer can be detected.
Of course, Borovsky points, it mosquitoes become resistant to their own reproductive hormone, that could have unknown adverse consequences for them as well. “We have to stay a step ahead of them or outsmart them all over again,” Borovsky said.
Mosquito larvae are an important food for many aquatic organisms. Large numbers fall prey to phantom gnats, damselflies, dragonflies, fish, shrimp, other water insects, and spiders. Naturally occurring bacteria, protozoa, snails, fungi, and nematodes also kill mosquito larvae. Both bacteria and predatory fish have been used as biocontrol agents to control mosquito larvae. Adult mosquitoes are also fed upon by birds, bats, frogs, lizards, spiders and insects out of the water environment. Dragonflies have eyes with as many as 28,000 facets and can spot a mosquito 25 feet away and fly at a speed of 60 mph.
Screening of doors, windows, and vents is a time-honored method of keeping mosquitoes out of structures. Ordinary window screen of 16x16 or 14x18 meshes to the inch will keep out most mosquitoes. There are new mosquito control devices, e.g., the Mosquito Magnet which attracts and kills mosquitoes. Campers can use fans and/or hang mosquito netting over cots, tent openings, picnic tables, etc. Long sleeves, long pants, hats, and veils give additional protection from mosquitoes.
"Bug zappers" and ultrasonic devices have not been proven to be effective in controlling mosquitoes and other noxious flying insects. Try to reduce the population by fogging with enzyme cleaners. Generally, mosquito control is best undertaken on an area wide basis by public health agencies or mosquito abatement districts. We only recommend they use the bacterium Bacillus thuringlensis israeliensis because it is relatively safe and environmentally sound. Bti is highly selective, killing only mosquitoes and several other water inhabiting insects. First try fogging with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner or Peppermint Soap with Enzymes or simply dish soap and water.
How Bti Works to Control Mosquitoes
The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis infects and kills mosquito larvae. It is relatively safe and environmentally sound because it is highly selective, killing only mosquitoes and certain related water-
inhabiting insects. The larvae feed on Bti spores and crystals suspended in the water. Within 10 minutes the spores and crystals enter the gut of the larva and the crystals dissolve. Within 1 - 4 hours the gut wall of the larvae break down from the action of these toxic crystals. Then, within 2 - 12 hours after the crystals have done their work, the spores escape into the larvae’s body cavity and the larvae die. Note: There have been increased reports of low-level resistances to both Bt strains and Bs.
NON-TOXIC MOSQUITO CONTROL
PREFORMED ENZYME CLEANERS - Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners are organic, enzymatic, bio-catalytic agents which have proven to be outstandingly effective for mosquito larva and pupae control. These enzyme cleaners enzymes as well as Enviro-Green ALTER THE SURFACE TENSION OF WATER SO THAT LARVAE AND PUPAE HAVE DIFFICULTY MAKING CONTACT WITH THE AIR ABOVE THE WATER SURFACE film. Adult mosquitoes can not maintain surface contact on water properly treated with preformed enzyme cleaners. Late winter treatment of potential breeding water will preclude breeding. Other insects, as well as leaves, etc., do not remain on surface of water properly treated with preformed enzyme cleaners, but sink below the surface.
It is interesting to note that the pupal stage is the most quickly affected by preformed enzyme cleaners, whereas larvae tend to persist for longer periods both in field and laboratory experience. The opposite is found to be the case in the use of "registered" insecticide poisons, where the larval stage is the one most quickly killed. In stagnant water, large pounds, bird bathes, etc. you will note ultra-active response of the aquatic organisms upon initial addition of performed enzyme cleaners, as siphon tubes can no longer make contact with outside air. Safe Solutions, Inc. enzymes may last for years in still or recirculated water. In many instances 100% control has been achieved. It is less effective and has less residual effect in moving water or in a pond with both inlets and outlets.
Water properly treated with Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners are harmless to fish life or animals and pets. It is non-irritant to the most sensitive skin tissue and, if accidentally taken internally, would produce only a mild laxative effect comparable to bland soaps.
Enzyme cleaner concentrate can be applied as a spray or dripped into an inlet source; concentrates are instantly soluble in water. Application should result on a final tank or pond solution of 1 part concentrate to 50,000 parts water, but stronger solutions may be used. Check current dilution rates - older or "improved" concentrates may change dilutions.
Muck and Organic Sediment Removal: Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners and/or other bacteria, especially when combined with Clean Flo's or Enviro-Green's lake, pond and sewage aeration/inversion systems, really can digest bottom debris, muck and other organic sediment, but the Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners should be applied at greater concentrations, e.g., 1 part concentrate to 250,000 parts water initially.
OTHER WAYS to Control Mosquitoes
Altosid® or methoprene induces damaging morphological changes in the second, third and fourth instars of mosquito larvae, resulting in the failure of adult mosquitoes to emerge from pupae. Timing is very important because only mature larvae are effected. Impregnated on sand or packaged in slow-release briquettes, this IGR is effective for 30 days in standing water. It can be also applied as a spray solution from the air or ground. We also highly recommend the use of predatory mosquito larvae (Toxorhychites spp.), the mermethid or mosquito-attacking nematode, Romanomermis culcivorax and/or the mosquito-eating fish, Gambusa affinis, killfish (fundulidae), minnows (cyprinidae), and/or tilapia and or guppies, e.g., Legister reliculatus wherever possible. The killfishes (Fundulus) in salt water and the top minnows (Gambusia, Labistes, and Panchax) in fresh water are most useful. The effective use of any chemical control depends on species of mosquitoes, the area of country, the time of year and many other factors. It is very difficult to obtain satisfactory control of night flying mosquitoes by treating even very large areas with synthetic pesticide poisons, so never try a “spot” application. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, so use dry ice traps. Avoid exercising outside, especially at dusk, when they are most voracious. However, there are some methods which will reduce a mosquito problem on an individual structure basis. Enzyme cleaners quickly kill all stages of all species and often remain active as long as they are wet- so use with caution.
NOTE: NOTE: Safe Solutions, Inc., 1-888-443-8738 are not registered for use as pesticides by the EPA; the above information was obtained in field tests by independent parties using enzyme cleaners and listed for informational/educational purposes only - we only note their potential for use in safe, effective mosquito control.
INTELLIGENT PEST MANAGEMENT® CONTROL OVERVIEW
A. First correctly identify the adult species. Use a gravid or light trap for monitoring adult mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control have standardized the design of light traps used for mosquito monitoring. Such traps cannot be used for mosquito control; however, because their capacity is too limited. Mosquitoes are attracted to the light or dry ice, enter the trap and are then blown downward by a small fan into a mesh bag, from which they cannot escape.
B. Establish tolerance, annoyance, action or injury levels. Find and note the larval source of all the biting adult species. Eliminate the larval sources if at all possible by draining and/or filling them in. Install bat and/or purple martin houses outside. Use other biological controls/predators/fans.
C. Inspect the premises thoroughly for standing water and other breeding sites. All receptacles in which water can accumulate should be routinely emptied, filled in and/or and destroyed if possible. Plumbing leaks which are causing puddles should be repaired. Bird baths, watering troughs and other water storage points which cannot be treated with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaners should be emptied and cleaned at least once a week. Fog inside and outside with enzyme cleaner and/or peppermint soap. Fill in all holes or burrows in the ground, stumps, trees, etc.
D. Permanent standing water, such as ponds, streams, swamps, and drainage ditches, may be treated to control mosquito breeding by using IGR’s like methoprene, marketed as Altosid by Zoecon, Bti, or by goldfish, tilapia, nematodes, guppies (Poecillia reticulata) or the like. Where injury to vegetation is not a problem, oil base sprays may be applied lightly to cover the water surface. These should be applied at weekly intervals during the mosquito season. Do not use poisons to treat garden fish ponds or any water which will be used or consumed by humans or animals. Prevent breeding situations by regular emptying and cleaning with enzyme cleaner or by screening and caulking.
E. Buildings and homes which are constantly invaded by mosquitoes usually have defective, missing screening. All screens on windows and doors should be inspected, repaired and tightened. Sixteen to 18 mesh screening should be used to prevent mosquito entry. Be sure to also thoroughly caulk all holes, cracks, crevices and other openings which may also allow entry.
F. Mosquitoes inside a finished building can be temporarily controlled by enzyme sprays or vacuums and permanently by eliminating standing water accumulations. It should never be necessary to apply long-term synthetic pesticide poisons in buildings with proper screening.
G. For personal protection on outside, protective clothing is always your best defense; try using fans and soybean oil/or cedar oil, Skin-So-Soft® by Avon, oils of citrosa, coconut, birch, Lantana camara (Linnaeus), Tarchonantus camphoratus essential oil, neem, blue stem grass, rosemary, yarrow, spearmint, menthol, crushed citrosa or lemon thyme leaves, oils of sweet basil, citronella, cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint or eucalyptus, electronic repellers and if all else fails, a combination of these. Applied to exposed skin, sleeves and trouser cuffs, garlic repellents can prevent mosquito bites for several hours. If you are not allergic, try Ultra Muskol®. I have had good results with some electronic mosquito repellers, but others have had no effect. Caution: The effective ones (that really sound like dragonflies) may attract bats at night. Buzz Away by Quantum is a non-toxic, outdoor protection formula of natural ethyl alcohol from plants, plus essential oils of citronella, cedarwood, lemon grass, peppermint and eucalyptus or use peppermint and/or eucalyptus soaps, Kiss Off! from Kiss My Face contains citronella oil and Rhodinol (from grasses grown in Sri Lanka) and Terpineol (from pine trees) along with moisturizers and botanicals. Menthol will repel some ticks, so try it on mosquitoes, citronella candles often draw mosquitoes into the flame. Don't forget to simply vacuum them up - use fans. Avoid using sweet scents and avoid cool, moist places, especially at dawn or dusk.
H. Adult mosquito control outdoors is accomplished by using fans... mosquitoes are not very strong fliers and will not bother you in the wind. Wear light colors and prints. Bathe regularly with peppermint or unfragranced soap. Mow the lawn regularly. Mist with enzyme cleaner or Not Nice to Bugs or peppermint or garlic or eucalyptus oil or soaps. Trim trees/shrubs.
I. Cover the top of rain barrels with a fine screen 14-18 wires per inch - rain water can pass through but mosquitoes can not. Put in some fathead minnows if you can not screen.
J. Plant scented geraniums or citrosa plants, lemon thyme, citronella grass, common marigold, tomato, eucalyptus, sweet basil, and/or sassafras by gardens, walks, doors, windows, decks, pools and patios to help repel mosquitoes. Note: Most plants release significant amounts of repellent oils only when their leaves are crushed. Rub crushed leaves on a small portion of your skin to see if you get an allergic reaction before treating” your whole body or pet. Florida residents have been spotted wearing Bounce® fabric softener sheets on their belts or sticking out of their pockets to repel mosquitoes.
Warming: Drinking beer attracts mosquitoes to you.
K. Beneficial Organisms such as bats, praying mantis, toads, birds, dragonflies, fish should be enticed or introduced into the area with houses and/or releases to permanently control these serious pests by natural predation. Mosquitoes are a key source of food for many species of amphipods (freshwater shrimp) ants, backswimmers, bacteria, bats, birds, crabs, dragonflies, fish, frogs, toads, fungi, giant waterbugs, ground beetles, hydra, mites, insectivore plants, parasitic nematocles, predacious snails and spiders. A mouse-eared bat can eat 600 mosquitoes per hour. A large dragonfly can eat up to 100 mosquitoes in one forage at speeds up to 30 mph or more.
L. Candles - Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide/light and are killed by the flame. Citronella candles are said to repel mosquitoes, but never burn them inside; the fumes are also harmful to your health.
M. Non-toxic (permanent) mosquito control - Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint have all proven to be extremely effective in field tests for mosquito larvae and pupae control. They alter the surface tension of water so that larvae and pupae have difficulty making contact with the air above the water surface film. Adult mosquitoes cannot maintain surface contact on water especially treated with enzyme cleaner. Late winter treatment of potential breeding waters will even preclude breeding. Other insects, as well as leaves, etc. do not remain on surface of water treated with enzyme cleaner, but sink below the surface. It is interesting to note that the pupal stage is the most quickly affected by enzyme cleaner, whereas larvae tend to persist for longer periods both in field and laboratory experience. The opposite is found to be the case in the use of insecticides, where the larval stage is the one most quickly killed. In stagnant water, large ponds, baths, etc., you will note ultra-active erratic response of the aquatic organisms upon initial addition of Safe Solutions, Inc. enzymes, as siphon tubes can no longer make contact with outside air. The active ingredient, the protease enzymes, can last for a long time in still or recirculated water. In many instances 100% control has been achieved. They both are less effective and have less residual effect in moving water or in a pond with both inlets and outlets. Directions: Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners can be applied as a spray or dripped into an inlet source. They are both instantly soluble in water. Application should result in a final pond or tank or pond solution of one part of either commercial product to 50,000 parts water, but stronger solutions may be used. Be careful; control may be virtually permanent!
N. Resist going on a swatting rampage when biting insects start hovering overhead. Studies indicate such movement can double the number of mosquitoes attracted to you.
O. French radio station FUGUE FM broadcasts an electronic impulse at 16KHz to repel mosquitoes.
P. In 1952, Penfold and F.R. Morrson in Australia found the most effective repellent oils against mosquitoes,march flies and sand flies were the oil of Huon pine wood (Dacrydium franklini) and leaf oils from Backhousia myrtifolia, Melaleuca bracteata and Zieria smithii.
Q. Mosquitoes in your room? Turn off the lights and let them settle on the ceiling (or wall), then flip on the lights and vacuum them up. Sleep in the breeze of a fan inside or outside.
Natural Floodwater and Salt Marsh Mosquito Control - You can prevent these pests by maintaining high water over the annual floodplain during the mosquito's oviposition season. Salt marsh mosquitoes, e.g., Aedes taeniorhynchus and Aedes sollicitans and floodwater mosquitoes, e.g., Aedes vexans and Aedes sticticus need soil on which to lay their eggs, and if the area is continuously flooded during this period, they cannot complete their life cycle. If you can not flood, use mosquito fish, Gambusia affinnis, Kleen 'Em Away Naturally® or Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners, garlic, methoprene and/or an effective Bti product or the new Bacillus sphaericus.
Deet Note: In the U. S. alone 50 to 100 million units of insect repellant are sold each year. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) banned insect repellents containing more than 30% DEET. Florida health officials note some serious reactions involving children (including a few deaths) have been reported that may have been linked to this repellent (that melts plastic) and recommend that products containing DEET should not be used on children age 5 and under. So use DEET only with great caution. DEET can cause eye and sinus irritation, headaches, insomnia, confusion, etc. Never use DEET on someone with open wounds. DEET can dissolve nylon and plastic.
Overall Control Summary - Try planting scented geraniums (mosquito control plants) near entrances and other openings; rub your skin with the crushed leaves; these plants also make the bathroom smell nice, or try cedar oil and/or fabric softener sheets. Adult female mosquitoes the only ones which bite, can irritate and annoy humans and our pets, and can transfer such diseases as malaria, encephalitis and dog heartworm. Communities nationwide thus have intensive control programs for these pests. Sadly, many programs unnecessarily rely solely on spraying potentially hazardous adult-killing pesticides (adulticides). Mosquitoes develop resistance to all chemical pesticides over time, which renders all of the volatile, "registered" poisons ineffective. Adulticides, such as the highly toxic organophosphate chlorpyrifos (Dursban), present considerable risk to all living things, and kill beneficial insects and other non-target organisms. Natural mosquito predators such as dragonflies, damselflies and beetles are killed by adulticides and take longer to come back. (Dr. Wald from Libertyville, Illinois may have started the "rumor" that a purple martin can eat 6,600 mosquitoes a day. Dr. Wald sold aluminum purple martin birdhouses.) According to the President of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA), excessive spraying may exacerbate and even create mosquito problems by eliminating natural predators. Sensible control strategies involve reduction of breeding sites, which provides long-term restraints on mosquito populations, and controlling the mosquito during aquatic states before they mature and have a chance to reproduce, transfer disease and annoy. Bug zapping lights can attract more pests into a yard than they kill, and do not reduce the numbers of mosquito bites. Volatile oils and perfumes, such as Skin-so-Soft and cedarwood, can repel insects but wear off rapidly so must be applied repeatedly. Use fans to cover localized areas to harmlessly remove mosquitoes. Habitat reduction measures can often be simple and can provide long-term effectiveness. Install bat houses to encourage these mosquito feeders to establish residence. Enhancing drainage of flood canals, irrigation ditches and fields; keeping street gutters and catch basins free of debris and flowing properly; enhancing drainage, or creating permanent deep pools in marshes, and the elimination of other large and small breeding habitats, e.g., cans, tires, bird baths, plugged rain gutters, etc., all are good preventative measures. Tracking larval and adult population numbers, species types and breeding locations provides invaluable information used for determining when, where and what control measures might be needed. Larvaciding allows effective control for mosquitoes at the source before they become a nuisance and can be done with biological control techniques. Mosquito fish of the Gambusia genus are distributed by the thousands nationwide. Only indigenous species should be used. Be aware that they have occasionally triggered algal blooms after consuming algae eating organisms. Bti (bacillus thuringiensis var. israelenis), one of the most popular and effective least-toxic biological controls, is a bacterial strain which, when sprayed into larval pools, is ingested by feeding larvae and kills them, or try Bacillus sphaevicus. Oils kill via mechanical means by coating water surfaces which suffocates all stages of mosquito larvae and mosquito pupae. Arosurf MSF® is a very thin vegetable-based oil that not only kills larvae but sinks egg rafts and adults on the surface by changing the water tension. It is registered for application into potable water, is applied at rates of only .2 to .5 gallons per acre, and biodegrades in three to ten days. Unfortunately oils can kill non-target organisms, including some predators, which similarly breathe from the surface. Golden Bear Oil® is another popular larvacide. It is petroleum-based oil which, while purer than more traditional diesel oils, persists and affects non-target organisms. Methoprene is an insect growth regulator supposedly of low toxicity to mammals that disrupts normal growth patterns to arrest development in the pupal stage, which leaves larvae available as food for wildlife but prevents the emergence of adults. Methoprene is an insect growth regulator supposedly of low toxicity to mammals that disrupts normal growth patterns to arrest development in the pupal stage, which leaves larvae available as food for wildlife but prevents the emergence of adults. Other insect growth regulators, like dimilin, kill larvae when they molt by interfering with outer shell development. Unfortunately, other insects and crustaceans can also be killed upon molting by disruption of the same processes. Try an overall broadcast application of Safe Solutions' enzyme cleaner, but remember enzymes will also kill all insects even the beneficial ones. Try applying dilutions of various essential oils to pulse points on your body every hour or so as described in the section Blood Feeders Overview. If practical, wear two layers of tightly knit or woven (tucked in) clothing, avoid sandals, floral prints, loose clothing, the color blue (the preferred color of mosquitoes), hair spray, perfumes and other attractive fragrances. Stay away from stagnant water. If in a serious attack cover your skin with mud and/or seek immediate refuge in a building or a thicket or body of water. Fog/mist the area with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner and/or Peppermint Soap or Not Nice to Bugs or garlic or citrus extracts or oils to down/destroy/repel mosquitoes. You can also lightly dust the area with food grade diatomaceous earth.
Mosquitoes - Typical First Strikes by Housekeeping & Maintenance
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, at a rate of a few drops per gallon of water.
Spray the area and drains with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner (1 oz. per quart of water) or Not Nice to Bugs® (2 oz. per quart of water). Remove or spray bushes and dense shrubbery and vines by doors and patios with hose end sprayers and enzyme cleaners. Adding xanthan gum to water kills mosquito larvae.
Turn on fans to “blow them away.” Sit in the breeze (even if it is from a fan). They will not bother you.
Mosquito bite relief: Soak bites in Epsom salt water or apply a paste of salt or enzymes mixed into lard or cold cream.
Spraying diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner (1oz. per gallon of water) or garlic oil or liquid garlic will control mosquitoes immediately. Peppermint or lemon oils or citrus-based sprays also kill mosquitoes and other insects.
Rub 4% citronella oil into 96% Vaseline, cedarwood, lavender or soybean oil or scented geraniums on clothing and/or exposed areas or burn citronella candles. CNN 8/28/01: Iowa State says catnip is 10x more effect than DEET. Lemongrass, clove oil, basil, oils of avocado, birch, mint, thyme, pine, rosemary, spearmint and/or yarrow all repel mosquitoes. Be sure you are not sensitive.
Solutions of aspirin or Ben Gay® or bisabolene or pennyroyal, rubbed on the skin (if your are not sensitive), tansy or scented geraniums planted near a door, or basil plants will repel mosquitoes. Myrrh burned as incense will also repel mosquitoes. Wear protective clothing or put geraniol or geranium oil, catnip or Noxema, soybean oil or vinegar on the skin if you are not sensitive. Caution: If you are pregnant, don't use pennyroyal, even topically, as it may increase the risk of miscarriage. Note: Citronella oil has been known to attract female black bears.
Practice proper exclusion; repair 16 to 18 mesh screens; seal windows and doors and caulk.
Lightly dust the surface of the water with Safe Solutions, Inc. food grade diatomaceous earth or powdered starch.
Caution - Test anything you want to put on your skin on a small area first.
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 diluted enzyme cleaner, apply and rub into to bite area - this will reduce the swelling and itching.
Turpentine and eucalyptus oils, garlic extracts, surface oils, extracts of orange and lemon peel will all control mosquito larvae as will water treated with .15% borax or just a little Safe Solutions, Inc. Dry Concentrated Enzyme Cleaner, but be careful not to pollute potable water!
If you still are seeing mosquitoes, read the entire chapter.
Murphy’s Law of Pest Control: To treat a malaria outbreak in Borneo in the 1950s, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to spray DDT to kill mosquitoes. The DDT also killed parasitic wasps which were controlling thatch-eating caterpillars. As a result, the thatched roofs of many homes fell down, and the DDT-poisoned insects were eaten by geckoes, which were in turn eaten by cats. The cats perished, which led to the multiplication of rats, and then outbreaks of sylvatic plague and typhus. To put an end to this destructive chain of events, WHO had to parachute 145,000 live cats into the area to control the rats.
The following is from "The Coming Plague" by Laurie Garrett. The book was copyrighted in 1994 and the situation has become worse since then: "It seems we have a much greater enemy in malaria now than we did just a few years ago," Dr. Wen Kilama said. The director-general of Tanzania's National Institute for medical Research was frustrated and angry in 1986. He, and his predecessors, had meticulously followed all the malaria control advice meted out by experts who lived in wealthy, cold countries. But after decades of spending upward of 70 percent of its entire health budget annually on malaria control, Kilama had a worse problem on his hands in 1986 than his his predecessors in 1956...Since the days when optimists had set out to defeat malaria, hoping to drive the parasites off the face of the earth, the global situation had worsened significantly. Indeed, far more people would die of malaria-associated ailments in 1990 than did in 1960...In 1990 more than 80 percent of the world's malaria cases were African; 95 percent of all malarial deaths occurred on the African continent. Up to half a billion Africans suffered at least one serious malarial episode each year, and typically an individual received some 200-300 infective mosquito bites annually. Up to one million African children died each year of the disease. And all over the continent the key drugs were failing.
DEET warnings: In April, 1998 EPA quietly announced products containing DEET can no longer be labeled as “child-safe” and must contain many new restrictions when using on children. EPA has given the industry 26 months to apply the new restrictions and allowed the old labeled repellents to be sold for another 50 months — so you will not see the new restrictions for a long time.
DEET-free Products - Naturale Ltd. in Mineola, NY makes a timed vapor release glo-wristband using 30% geraniol that supposedly is reuseable for up to 60 hours. It is advertised to repel mosquitoes, gnats and fleas in all outdoor activities including swimming. Your body heat activates the volatile oil in about 10 - 15 minutes. It may cause a skin reaction in rare cases. Naturale makes several other DEET-free products and can be reached at 1-516-829-1540. Bite Blocker is another insect repellant on the market that combines soybean oil, geranium oil and coconut oil; this product is said to be far superior to DEET and Skin-So-Soft. Buy or make your own DEET-free repellants.
American Biophysics based in East Greenwich, RI is marketing the Mosquito Magnet, a device about the size of a gas barbecue that emits a plume of carbon dioxide that attracts mosquitoes. The device then sucks them into a small vacuum where they dehydrate and die within a day. Biosensory, Inc. of Willimantic, CT is expected to market the Dragonfly, a similar trap in the shape of an 18” bird.
Mosquito Attractant - The summer cypress, a/k/a the burning bush because it is so deep red in the autumn, contains an oil or fatty acid in its seeds that can be used or converted into a pheromone-like substance that attracts females of all Culex species to a water source where they can lay their eggs. Squeeze the oil from the seeds and place it directly near water diluted with 1 part enzyme cleaner per 500 - 1000 parts of water. The Asian tiger mosquito occurs throughout the Orient and earlier in the 1900s invaded Hawaii. It invaded Texas in 1985 and had invaded most southern states east of the Mississippi and as far north as Ohio, Indiana, Delaware, Illinois and Maryland within 3 years. How did we get this pest? In 1983 - 1985 we paid for 4.5 million used truck tires to be sent from Asia to be retreaded and sold. Asian tiger mosquitoes first arrived into our port cities in ship loads of these tires. Their eggs can survive for months out of the water waiting for some rain to cause them to hatch. The female is an aggressive daytime feeder with a "racing stripe" and can lay 300 eggs per female. Feeding occurs mainly in the early and/or late afternoon. Walk in the shade and you will soon be surrounded by hungry females who will hit you low (ankles and knees). You probably will not even hear them buzz! You may have many bites and yet not have felt one bite! The Asian tiger mosquito is considered to be a potential vector of encephalitis and other arboviruses! Because it likes to breed in little pools of water, it could become a major back yard pest. It can go from egg to biting adult in 2 weeks! Treat tires with diluted enzyme cleaner, olive oil, garlic juice or oil and/or lemon juice or citric acid.
Lime - It has been suggested by a field engineer that lime be added to stagnant water to control mosquitoes, but I have not yet field tested this control technique as to dosage or safety or efficacy.
Marigolds, Tagetes minuta (L.) - Whole plant extracts of this species of marigold are extremely toxic to adults and larvae of mosquitoes, e.g., Aedes aegypti (L.). Caution: The extracts may also kill or negatively effect non-target aquatic insects and other organisms. Add a little mineral or canola oil and dish soap to your mix and add to stagnant water.
Noxema - We have found that Noxema applied to the exposed skin repels mosquitoes.
Potential Bait - I was told to put a few drops of Lemon Joy dishwashing detergent on a white plate to attract and kill mosquitoes - I am looking forward to trying this on several species.
Isostearyl Alcohol Ethoxylate - This non-irritating alcohol derived from plant oils has no odor and is used in the cosmetic industry. When it is applied to standing water at about a quart per acre, it will quickly cover the entire surface and control mosquito larvae and pupae. The film reduces the surface tension of the water so larvae and pupae can not attach easily and it also blocks their breathing tubes. Done properly, the film is not visible, phytotoxic or toxic to most non-targeted species.
Mosquito Magnet® - There are several new propane devices that attract and control mosquitoes. In 2002, Dr. Warren Porter said he saw the Mosquito Magnet® in action at midnight in a swamp on the Georgia-Florida border and he never got bitten even though he had no other protection.
Egg Yolks - Break open an egg yolk and let it spread over the surface of the water to suffocate mosquito larvae for several days. Repeat as needed. Remember, an egg yolk can only spread so far, so use as many as you need. You can check the efficiency in a few hours with a glass container; dip some water and see if you "got them all."
Panic Caution: In 1999 the City of New York found the vector of West Nile virus from birds to man to be the Northern House Mosquito, Culex pipens (Linnaeus). The adults are brownish with white or gray markings with dark legs. These particular mosquitoes are the only known vectors of West Nile virus and fly only 100 - 300 feet in their lifetime and are only minimally active at night. They only breed in artificial containers, ditches, bird baths, sewers and polluted water. New York City had isolated incidents of infestation, yet chose to give out Deet to “protect” all of the children and to bomb all five boroughs during the daytime with helicopters and trucks. There were pictures in the newspapers of the spraying and of children putting Deet on during the day. None of these daytime “controls” would work, but the frost did. Then in 2000 the City decided to again “protect” the people. Their plan does not mention the dangers of their “registered controls”. Their “plan” does not mention “organophosphates” nor alert the populace of the health effects of their poison “controls”. Their “plan” does not consider safer, simpler and far more effective alternatives that take into consideration the species of mosquito that they are “trying to control.” At an NCAMP meeting I noted that if I had violated the pesticide labels and the federal law that states that it is illegal to say that even the labeled use of any pesticide is “safe” as much as the City of New York had done during the Fall of 1999, I would have been arrested. Sit in the breeze of a fan, have the people drain or remove the breeding sources or add a little lime, soap, vegetable or diluted enzymes to the stagnant water. These mosquitoes are not very active biters (even at night) so keep on moving.
Newsday noted in August, 2000 that six mosquito species have been found to carry the West Nile virus (WNV) and each has different breeding and feeding habits. The New York area is home to at least 75 different species or types of mosquitoes, most of which have not been tested for their ability to carry West Nile virus. Scientists at the U. S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Ft. Detrick, MD have tested 18 species and found they all were capable of transmitting the disease to some degree in their laboratories. Finally, a laboratory in Beloit, WI announced on 10/26/00 that birds in its laboratory became ill with WNV from other infected birds without any mosquito vectors. I would like to point out that to try to “control” every mosquito using volatile pesticides simply will not work.
Following is a testimonial letter regarding food-grade DE - To Whom It May Concern: This past year, we were
introduced to a new product by Steve and Roz Tvedten. They knew that we were the owners of thoroughbred horses and were being plagued by flies and mosquitoes. Steve asked my Husband to try the product and promised we would be thrilled with the results.
We have 44 horses and decided to treat them into two different groups. Group one was placed on the product, and group 2 received nothing but its normal feed. Group one had DE (food quality diatomaceous earth) and granulated garlic added to its feed daily. We placed approximately 3 tablespoons of each item and sprinkled it on top of the horse feed. The animals in this area were not bothered with flies or mosquitoes and we had no illness at all in this area. Even the manure from the animals did not get covered with flies which definitely help keep the pasture and barn from disease.
Group two was fed just its normal grain supplement. This field was hit very hard with flies and mosquitoes. We also experienced illness in the pasture which we could not explain. We had to call in the doctor because we lost four animals. The doctor took blood and felt we were dealing with the West Nile disease. Immediately, we placed group two on the mixture of food quality diatomaceous earth and granulated garlic. At first, we increased the dosage giving them it twice a day. We had no problems with that group after the treatment and definitely felt that controlling the flies and mosquitoes helped control disease. This Spring all animals will be placed on the mixture. The test result from the untreated field turned out to be our worse nightmare—The West Nile Disease. Sincerely, Passingwinds Farm, Nick and Donna LaFleur, 1-20-2003
West Nile Virus Innoculations: There is a study from the University of Florida that said double innoculations of
horses still had West Nile infestations. Even some horses with triple innoculations still got West Nile Virus.
Tuning Fork Control - Take a tuning fork that has a pitch (humming frequency of 300 to 800 cycles per second)
and tap it. Place the vibrating fork near virtually any mosquito population and watch the (sexually mature) male
mosquitoes take flight and gather around the fork; while the fork is humming, the males will stay next to it and you can literally lead them around and put them into a cage or destroy them. Not all mosquitoes breed in the air. A New Zealand mosquito, Opifex fuscus, usually breeds the female before she takes to the air. The male watches for a pupae to surface for air; he waits or even helps during the emergence. If the emergent mosquito is female, the male may attempt to breed her even before she is out.
Doing Nothing - Doing nothing but allowing the natural control mechanisms to “catch up” generally is
the best policy. Natural products, e.g, dragonflies, will control mosquito infestations better and safer
than “registered” poisons. The Author believes once the birds develop an immunity to the West Nile
Virus, this should help control this disease. Mosquitoes function best at 80o F., become lethargic at
60o F. and can not function below 50o F.
Note: Most mosquitoes breed in small bodies of stagnant water, so remove the conditions conducive to
West Nile Treatment Note: Vitamin C i.v.’s can be used to treat any situation involving a viral component, including West Nile Virus. Very high therapeutic levels or doses of vitamin C are required, much more than is possible to absorb orally. There are very few contraindications to vitamin C i.v. and thousands of cases of HIV, AIDS, SRS, West Nile Virus and the flu have been successfully treated with virtually no side effects.
West Nile Virus Meeting in Phoeniz, AZ — On September 15, 2004 Maricopa County Supervisor, Fulton Broch, asked the Author to speak at a County Board Meeting to be held on Monday, September 27, 2004 at 3 p.m. The Meeting was scheduled to discuss the dangers and futility of continuing to follow the CDC’s recommendation that Phoenix, Arizona must use pesticides to “combat” West Nile Virus in the desert. During the meeting it was determined that the Phoenix Health Department, acting on a CDC Control Mandate, had been spraying 24,000+ acres of desert on a nightly basis in an attempt to “control” adult mosquitoes in order to stop the spread of West Nile Virus. Several people testified that they had lived in the desert for many years and had never seen a single mosquito in their particular area that was being sprayed. The head of the Health Department, Dr. Jonathan Weisbuch, said that he knew the sources of adult mosquitoes basically were and are thousands of “green” or abandoned swimming pools in the area, but rather than finding and larvaciding these small areas, he chose to continue to spray Anvil 2-2 on tens of thousands of acres of open desert and city on a nightly basis. While it is against the federal law to say that even the labeled use of any registered pesticide is “safe”. Al Brown from the Health Department testified that “their” spraying of insecticide poisons was “safe”. Dr. Weisbuch said, “In public health we are often confronted with two evils: In this case, one is a virus that has taken the lives of 7 people. The other evil is that pesticides are toxic chemicals. There are no safe chemicals we can produce, whether pesticides, aspirin or peniccilin. Do we allow a disease to progress because we fail to take action? Or do we exploit a chemical to stem an epidemic? It would be irresponsible and scientifically unsound to cease and desist spraying.” Both Weisbuch and Brown said that no one had ever (acutely) died from this particular insecticide and they will continue adulticiding the entire area, in order to “protect” 3½ million people. There were many medical doctors and patients who testified at the Arizona Board of Supervisors Meeting on September 27, 2004 about all 905 of the ongoing health problems the nightly pesticide spraying was causing them and their patients. Dr. Rapp noted that the WNV “epidemic” was misleading because no brain autopsies were performed on the original victims; therefore, any death due to WNV is unproven. It was also testified that many products like lead paint, asbestos, tobacco, etc. were initially considered to be “safe” but are now banned! The Author was given ten minutes and he briefly talked about the ineffectiveness of adulticiding mosquitoes noting in particular Al Brown’s comments that even after months of spraying pesticide poisons on a nightly basis their monitoring traps last week still contained thousands of adult mosquitoes.
If you think pesticides control mosquitoes, please check out:
An article in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association clearly notes that, under normal circumstances, 95% of an adult mosquito’s offspring are eaten by natural predators, but spraying broad spectrum pesticide POISON(S) is not “normal” and these poisons quickly destroy these natural predators. In New York’s experience, for example, over an 11-year “treatment” period, spraying led to a 15-fold increase in the resident mosquito population, and the subsequent generations of mosquitoes appeared to be more resistant to pesticide POISONS and more aggressive. The Author has consistently noted the same results in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and elsewhere for many years. It is a scientific fact that more and more pesticide POISONS are routinely sprayed each and every subsequent year, and the only result is that pest problems and pesticide contamination problems continue to increase. It reminds the Author of a man spraying flies in his home with all of the windows and doors open. Until he screens or closes the windows and doors, he will always have more and more flies. Until Phoenix controls the source of their WNV/mosquito problem, it will always have the mosquito problem and many more people will be sickened by the Health Department’s ongoing pesticide applications. Quebec has successfully tackled the virus mainly by treating municipal sewer systems, rural marshes and swamps with products that kill mosquito larvae each spring. The Author specifically pointed out to the Board and the audience that if “someone” advocated the spraying of pesticide POISONS to try to “control” West Nile Virus or any mosquito born disease - that person or persons should be held personally and criminally liable for any person, animal or bird who contacted the mosquito borne disease after all of their expensive POISON “treatments” and they should also be held criminally and personally liable for all of the resulting chemical trespass, injury and/or death of people, birds and animals their use and/or recommendation of “registered” pesticides created. The Author then gave Dr. Jonathan Weisbuch a copy of his Mosquito Control chapter from THE BEST CONTROL II and offered to try to get him a sample of any alternative the Author mentions in this Chapter. The Author also left the Board members a website where they could get the same Chapter on Mosquito Control - http://www.thebestcontrol.com
When those responsible for advising and/or applying “registered” pesticide POISONS are made to be held legally and/or criminally liable for any/all of the diseases or sickness and/or deaths their ineffective POISONS allow and/ or create in people, birds and/or animals, as well as being held liable for all of the resulting “collateral damage,” chemical trespass and contamination, I guarantee you “they” will quickly find and use safe and far more effective alternatives. It is as simple as that!
Please note: Safe Solutions, Inc. enzyme cleaners and other products, e.g.,food-grade DE or dry, concentrated enzyme cleaner, or liquid enzyme cleaner with peppermint, or peppermint soap and/or peppermint soap with enzymes can be purchased directly from Safe Solutions, Inc. at 1-888-443-8738, web site: http://www.safesolutionsinc.com.
There are also numerous dealers that sell these cleaners, e.g., Safe2Use at 1-800-931-9916. web site: http://www.safe2use.com, Also can be purchased at: http://www.usersafe.com or http://www.safe4youinc.net . None of the above-mentioned cleaners are sold as “registered” pesticides. The companies do not claim to mitigate pest problems in any way, but only sell these products as cleaners at this time.
I do not believe in the thesis, “Let the buyer beware.”
I prefer one that states: “Let the seller/applicator be honest.”
Some products mentioned can be purchased on-line at: Safe2Use.
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