Mosquitoes… — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sun, Oct 3, 2021

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Mosquitoes…

Many people including me dislike mosquitoes. Mosquitoes mess up my sleep cycle, so I attempt to kill them. You might wonder why humans haven’t made them extinct yet.

A picture of a mosquito with the text 'rare picture of the only female attracted to me'.

Where do they come from?

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so you might often find them close to water. Global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect. They dislike wind and are often seen around dawn and dusk.

Mosquitoes are the deadliest monsters on Earth. Scientists have tried to stop them, but they haven’t succeeded yet. Mosquitoes lay around a hundred eggs a time! The females even suck your blood! Most, but not all mosquitoes prefer to bite horses over humans. The majority of mosquito species aren’t deadly, but they are still annoying!

The males feed on nectar. Mosquitoes do more harm than good. They aren’t needed for the survive of any species, nor are they the only pollinators of any plant.

History and disease

Mosquitoes can carry many diseases. You can find a list of those diseases on the CDC website.

Many ways to defeat mosquitoes have been tried, but we haven’t won this war yet. Many traps have been used. Some target the larves, some target the adults. Some killed more things than wanted.

DDT was used against mosquitoes, and some say that it is still the most effective weapon against them. It is banned in most countries though, since it is moderately toxic. DDT-resistant mosquitoes are also a thing, and they increased in numbers.

A diagram which displays information about the war against mosquitoes.
A diagram which displays information about the war against mosquitoes. It might be a good idea to open the image in a new tab. I couldn't find the source of the image.

Creatures of war

There is a rumor that the Nazi’s even had a plan to unleash mosquitoes on the Italians! The living conditions for the mosquitoes to breed outside of the laboratory were not ideal, so the plan didn’t continue. Japanese attacks in China are the only verified instance of entomological warfare during World War II.

The United States researched the use of mosquitoes for war during the Cold War. They also researched entomological warfare in non-combat situations. They planned to drop caterpillars on coca fields as a part of the War on Drugs.

Possible future plans

The United States suggested that insects can be genetically engineered. Technologies like CRISPR could create GMO “killer mosquitoes”. There is a lot of research going on around entomological warfare.

Preventing mosquitoes

Am I attractive to mosquitoes?

There is no way to know what mosquitoes are after. Some like sweat. Others are more attracted to body odors. Even genetics play a role according to studies. Some of them seem to be very attracted to people who drank beer. The amount of CO2 your body releases might be the greatest factor.

A hungry vampire anime girl says she is hungry. This picture has the caption 'mosquito which tries to bite me:'.

Don’t let them in!

An electric fan can help, because it makes it harder for them to detect the CO2, and it makes it harder for them to fly to your direction. Most importantly, don’t let them in your house. If you open the door, you automatically invite them in. They do not have to be invited, thus they are not vampires.

Getting rid of standing water helps, because they lay eggs there. A bottle cap of water is enough for them to reproduce.

Smash

Squish them all! I find that cardboard works great. It stays pretty solid when you use it, and they don’t fly through it. Advertising sheets don’t seem solid enough. You probably want to keep your books clean, so they are not an option. Mosquitoes seem to fly through the electrical fly swatters I have tried, but I am sure that some fly swatters can be effective.

They do not turn “attack mode” on when you smack them. Some people claim that they start to associate your smell with unpleasant experience. Although in my experience, they will still see you as the main target, so who am I kidding?

Plants

Citronella oil and citronella candles should help to prevent mosquitoes. It doesn’t seem to work well, and the oil has to be reapplied every 30-60 minutes.

Plants are nice extras that you could add to your arsenal, but I wouldn’t see them as a solution. They aren’t very effective. You can get a citronella plant for your garden. It is known that mosquitoes don’t like them. Basil is a plant which is toxic to some mosquito larvae, so that is a plant that you might want to get as well.

Electric devices

I have tried to use one of those devices which that releases smell which have oil attached to it. They do not work at all in my experience, and they aren’t cheap. I even saw mosquitoes land on it. I heard that the ones without oil are more effective, but I haven’t tried them.

Anything which only relies on citronella doesn’t seems to work in my experience. Research the device before buying. ThermaCell seems like a well-known brand that has devices which work, but they seem to mostly be for outdoor use.

ThermaCell testing part one, honest review - EconoChallenge
Around nine minutes in the video a ThermaCell device is started up. It takes a while to start, but it seems to work.

Sprays

They are often not good for your health. I speak from experience when I say that that most sprays do not work well. They even land on you depending on the spray you use. Electric devices are usually more effective.

If want to get a spray, do your research. There are some which do work.

Best mosquito spray - ChickFix USA

And there are some which don’t work.

Why repellents work, and which don't? - Inside Edition

Things which do not work against mosquitoes

A google search box with the text 'how to bite a mosquito back'.

Mosquito repellent bracelets

Don’t fall for the bracelets against mosquitoes. I have tried them. They are not effective at all, which I expected. They barely cover any part of your body.

Lights

Mosquitoes do not prefer the artificial lights (zappers) over you. It kills more other creatures than mosquitoes, and isn’t very effective towards mosquitoes. Many other bugs it kills are “good” bugs. The zappers which zoom to attract mosquitoes might work well. I haven’t tried those.

Phone apps

Phone apps which make sound, don’t help. In fact mosquitoes zoom to attract partners! It isn’t a logical thing to use at all. Oh, you want to sleep? Let the mosquito sing a nice bedtime song for you!

Places which are pretty safe from mosquitoes

Disney World

Why are there no mosquitoes at Disney World? - Midway to Main Street

Iceland

Why are there no mosquitoes in Iceland? - Incurably Curious