Giant Mosquitoes, is it the Mothership or the Mosquito Killer?

Spring will soon be  arriving across all of North America.  The wet winter, in many parts of the country, may make Mosquitoes a real problem.  Many communities in the southern United States have noticed what appear to be giant MosquitoesCrane Fly

Don’t panic these giants are not Mosquitoes.  These giants are called  Crane Flies.  Despite rumors that these larger flies are predators of mosquitoes, they are not.  They are harmless. They do not feed on blood and none of them attack people.

Sadly the internet contains false reports of adult crane flies biting or stinging, they do neither.  Adult crane flies eat very little, if at all report entomologists (bug specialists). They may feed on nectar. Their primary focus is on mating when they are in this short stage of their life.  They can be gently scooped up and returned outdoors.

The real enemy is the Mosquito.Mosquito  Notice that the Mosquito has a long tube-like mouthpart (proboscis).  This is what they use to pierce the skin to consume blood.

Mosquitoes  can transmit extremely harmful infections.  These can include malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.

The best defense against the mosquito is making sure that we do not provide an optimal place for them to live and reproduce.

Mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs.  Look around where you live. Almost anything can hold water: Buckets, plant saucers, old tires, a fountain, even a swimming pool.  Dump and drain the water once a week or throw away the containers. If you have a pool make sure that the water is treated and not stagnant and stinking.

Get and use insect repellent.  Blood is food for female mosquitoes. They need your blood to produce eggs.  Look for these active ingredients to keep mosquitoes from biting you:  DEET,  Picaridin,  Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535.

Share what you know about controlling mosquitoes with family and friends.  

A clean yard, free from containers that can hold water (including plant saucers), is a mosquito-free yard.                                                      

Controlling mosquitoes is simple — just get rid of any standing water.

 

Repel Mosquitos Naturally

 

TerraShield

There’s nothing worse than watching the sun go down on a lovely day and then being attacked by mosquitos. In the Northeast, we live for summer. And spending as much time out in nature is probably what the founding fathers referred to as the “pursuit of happiness.”

The pesticides industry claims that DEET is relatively harmless, however it’s been shown to be extremely powerful and toxic. The nervous system is particularly at risk and DEET has been known to cause seizures as well as other health related concerns. Children are particularly susceptible.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to choose between toxic commercial bug sprays and the diseases carried by mosquitos.

Essential oils may be the answer to this dilemma. They’re safe, natural and effective. They’re also economical. A bottle of essential oil will last much longer than a bottle of bug spray and most oils have multiple uses.

Quality is important to me. I don’t want to replace one chemical with another, so we use TerraShield by doTERRA. It’s a perfect blend of mosquito repellent. It has 15 different oils including lemon, eucalyptus, citronella and lemon grass. And every oil that doTERRA sells goes through extensive third party testing for purity. They are the only company with the designation Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.

The best way to apply is to add 15-30 drops of TerraShield to four ounces of water and 4 ounces of either witch hazel or alcohol (unflavored vodka works best). Put in a spray bottle and apply liberally. Glass or metal bottles seem to work best because citrus oils can be corrosive to plastic. Having said that, I’ve used plastic in a pinch.

For more information on healthy living using essential oils, click healthy living.

What’s your outdoor tip for warding off mosquitos? Share it here!