It's about that time folks --- so thought I'd send out this reminder.

OK, mosquitos... prepare to be repelled !!!!!

Unlike most creatures, mosquitoes serve no beneficial purpose other than to make more mosquitoes. They don't aerate the soil, pollinate plants, or serve as a preferred item in the food chain for other animals.

The female of many mosquito species need protein for egg production. Human blood, well any blood... but since humans are hairless ( some of us more than others) we provide a rich and easy source.

Apart from the annoyance and itchy bites, mosquitos can carry viruses like encephalitis, dengue, yellow fever, malaria, filariasis and of most recent concern in North America, the West Nile Virus, which can cause also cause encephalitis. Viruses (and the itch) are carried in the anticoagulant they inject into the bite to ensure good blood flow.

Mosquitos are attracted to a number of things, including light, heat, moisture (sweat), movement, and especially carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Mosquitos home in when we breathe (or try and sleep). Of course you can't hold your breath forever, but while walking or jogging it can give you a breather until a new gang of them finds you.

If there is no wind or for inside tents and campers, burning mosquito coils and citronella candle-buckets can help by cutting down mosquito numbers by about half in your immediate airspace - say about a 15ft circle. Of course if there is much of a wind there are not alot of bugs around,or you are likely to be inside.

Try wearing light colors in summer. Mosquitoes are attracted by heat - especially dark denim jeans.

Bug Zappers are an effective way of protecting your immediate area short term (while you practise your tennis swing). Kinda hard to carry on a conversation though... and Zappers are indiscriminate, attracting and killing many insects including beneficial ones - some of which might be mosquito predators!

Propane Area Air Vacuums have been improved since their inception so for those who can afford them and per use cost, they can protect your deck or patio for that summer BBQ, but they need to be about 35 feet away or you're just inviting them over to party with you.

As we become more health conscious and prefer to avoid using artificial pesticides were practical, the Internet has spawned a revival of anecdotal evidence of different methods that seem to work for some to keep mosquitos away. Perhaps the following depend on particular body chemistries, sensitivities, and attitudes, but it is for sure that what works for some does not work for all, except for DEET based products. DEET is artificial pesticide developed by the US Army. Here is Health Canada's information page.

Garlic has a reputation for deterring many pests including mosquitos and their relatives, the Scottish biting midge. Coating the skin with a garlic based jelly has been shown to keep mosquitos away and it is said that eating garlic might also be effective. Given the possible dangers from mosquito bites don't rely on garlic alone!

Go to, or for the low down on these old wive's tales:

Plant marigolds around the yard to reduce insecticide use.
The flowers apparently give off a smell that bugs do not like.
If you eat bananas, mosquitos like you.
Something about the banana oil as your body processes it.
Try not eating bananas for the summer and see if mosquitos are less interested.
Wipe Bounce fabric softener sheets on exposed skin, especially for babies.
Take 100mg Vitamin B-1 tablet (Thiamine Hydrochloride) each day April through October.

Vick's Vaporub (Great, provided your friends can handle the smell too!)
Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol.
For mosquitoes and ticks, clear real vanilla - the pure vanilla sold in Mexico.
No information on how it works with other insects.
Put some water in a white dinner plate on your porch, patio, or other outdoor area and add a couple drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Not sure what attracts them, the lemon smell, the white plate color, or what, but mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Joy/water mixture, usually within about 10 feet of the plate.
Likewise, spraying Listerine around your home or outdoor areas isn't an all-purpose mosquito preventative. It may kill some mosquitoes on which it is directly sprayed, and it may also have limited effectiveness as a mosquito repellant, but you get what you pay for. DEET will repel mosquitoes more effectively for much longer than solutions concocted from commercial household products intended for completely different purposes.

THE choice for northern survey and utility repair teams for decades is D-15 - only 15% DEET - Studies show that 15% is all that is necessary.
It smells nice and is not near as hard on everything you touch like the 95% DEET products.
(and it only makes sense that the less chemical you put on your skin the better!!)
Handy spray application lasts 3-4 hours by which time you've probably been swimming or sweating so need reapplication anyhow. And a can lasts a long time - Great value!

For help with the bites you DO get:

You will get almost immediate relief from itching and, more importantly, the bite will shrink to nothing by immediately applying a little Nutrilite Echinacea on the bite. The spray must neutralize the poison from the bite. The sooner you spray, the better, but even later relieves the itch!

Ammonia based 'After Bite' works as well, best applied immediately... however it stings ALOT if applied to an already opened bite.

If all else fails -- get a frog!

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