FAQs on Mosquitoes and Solutions
By Steve Moore October 2017
Why are mosquitoes attracted to me? Why is it so expensive for mosquito control? Steve breaks down some of the most important information about Mosquitos.
There is truly no one who has done more hands on (and legs, and arms) research than Mosquito Steve.
About My Products
- Mosquito Steve products are not just natural – they are primarily essential oils -- but our products affect the mosquitoes by aggravating 5 different receptors on the mosquito antennae. This is why our products are more effective AND why the mosquitoes will not build up resistance.
- Yard sprays by Mosquito Steve lasts ten days to 2 weeks. Misting lasts up to 6 hours. Yard sprays remove the landing, hiding and resting places of the mosquitoes; it forces them into the air and they are not strong flyers. That should send them next door or to an area not protected. NOTHING sprayed on the yard, chemical or natural, keeps mosquitoes from flying in! That is why we need misting. Misting will keep flying insects away.
- We repel. We don’t kill. It is impossible to kill all the mosquitoes. We still have mosquitoes every year. We still have them at the end of the season. It is impossible to kill all the mosquitoes. Repelling brings it down to personal responsibility. If you repel, then you can keep them off of you, your family and out of your yard without damaging beneficial insects and the environment. Besides, our repellents work better than the harmful chemicals! NOTE: Rain washes away yard sprays if it is enough for the rain to wash down the street. Mosquitoes hide when it rains because rain can kill them!
- Our yard spray will help eliminate chiggers, fleas and other pests from yards. We have been notified by customers that they spray our DIY yard spray directly on their dog to kill fleas! Cats, however, can be much more sensitive to essential oils. It is important to note that while we believe our products to be safe on pets we have done no studies to show efficacy.
According to the EPA all of the ingredients in our products are considered safe around kids and pets.
- Mosquito Steve is always looking at ways to bring the cost of mosquito control down. He was the first with the portable mister and has DIY products that, while they require a little work, are very effective. We are currently working on many products including a low cost patio mister.
- My scientific studies, our human landing rate counts, used to be the industry standard until West Nile Virus came to America in 1999. Then, Congress disallowed use of human landing rate counts for Federal purposes so they would not be responsible for people getting sick.
- Landing rates are still regarded as the most accurate way to test for efficacy by most entomologists. That is why I do it and my protocol and sample tests have been observed and validated by several well-known doctors of entomology.
They've been applying both chemicals that kill larval mosquitoes and adult mosquitoes every day. It isn't working as well as we had hoped. That could be because some of the mosquitoes are resistant to those insecticides," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why the Industry Is Broken
- Mosquitoes raised in a lab have not adapted in the natural environment, nor have they built up a resistance to normal pest control. Therefore, products that work on lab mosquitoes don’t necessarily work in the real world. This is why products need to be tested in field trials and human landing rate counts.
- Spray on repellents: DEET broke down in 45 minutes in our studies. The only exception was Deep Woods OFF, which is a high concentration of DEET. But even Deep Woods OFF started breaking down at 2 hours.
- Picaridin products outperformed DEET every time and usually didn’t break down until an hour or more. (Except for lotions and wipes which lasted half as long and were half as effective.)
- Traps are great for sampling mosquitoes to determine species, pressure, disease. However, traps were not invented for the purpose of – nor are they effective at -- ridding one’s yard of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes fly and will repopulate fairly quickly. They are also instinctive enough to select a human over a false CO2 signal.
- Most natural products fail because they simply don’t last long enough.
- Wearable repellants, such as wrist bands? One Consumer Reports study found them so ineffective as a group that they didn’t even bother publishing comparative findings from their tests.
- Mosquito Steve products last at least 50% longer than Deep Woods OFF!!! This is in our test with the harshest mosquitoes and conditions possible.
About The Mosquitos
I have been raising mosquitos in my home for about a year. My products are effective on all types of mosquitos.
About half of the mosquitoes in North America are in the Aedes genus. They thrive in cooler temperatures, not requiring tropical climates. Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegypti are responsible for spreading the Zika Virus.
- Aedes aegypti was infamous for spreading yellow fever. Originally from Africa, it's now found throughout most of the southeast U.S. and the larvae will thrive in any stagnant water around cities or homes, from old tires to gutters.
- Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, arrived in the U.S. as eggs or larvae in cargo and now is established throughout the east and Midwest. It is a possible vector for dengue, dog heartworm and encephalitis, and can breed in small water containers like Aedes aegypti, which it is out-competing in some areas.
- Aedes canadensis is common in the northern U.S., though it breeds in woodland habitats and stays close there, rather than venturing to cities. In the spring, it appears early in the year, at the first sign of warm weather in March. It can carry equine encephalitis and dog heartworm.
- Aedes sollicitans breeds in salt marshes along the mid and north Atlantic coast. The adults can swarm and migrate in the evenings, congregating in towns 10 miles or more from the marshes, where they bite aggressively at night and even in the day if stirred up from their hiding places. They carry Eastern equine encephalitis to horses and people.
- Aedes nigromaculis breeds in floodwaters and irrigated areas of the western plains, as far south as Mexico, and California. It bites aggressively and painfully, and can spread encephalitis.
Culex mosquitoes prefer the tropics, but there are about a dozen species somewhat common in the United States. Culex is the species responsible for spreading West Nile Virus.
- They lay their eggs connected together in groups called "rafts," which float on quiet pools of water as big as lakes or as small as buckets, or as stinky as sewage cesspools. One raft may contain a hundred or more eggs, which hatch in two or three days. The adults usually bite in the evening or at night and have been blamed on disease outbreaks in several places.
- Culex tarsalis spreads encephalitis to people and horses west of the Mississippi, and occasionally is found in the east too. The larvae can live in irrigation puddles, ditches, ponds, drinking troughs or open cesspools. The adults bite at night, preferring birds but also biting livestock and humans. They hide in sheltered areas during the day and, like most Culex mosquitoes, survive the winter by hibernating.
North Texas Mosquitos
- The mosquito season in North Texas is generally from April through October. However, much depends on the duration of winter temperatures and the amount of rain. Heavy rain means more breeding grounds and more mosquitoes. Temperatures consistently above 58 degrees will encourage mosquito activity.
- Mosquitoes adapt very quickly. THAT is why they become resistant to chemical products. But it is also why in North Texas, the larval stage for a mosquito went from 2 weeks to 5 days. Puddles don’t stick around for 2 weeks during North Texas droughts. Recent studies show that higher temperatures around the globe have reduced the larval stage of the mosquito, in general, to 1 to 5 days!
Save the Pollinators
Chemical pesticides, including Pyrethroids and Nicotinoids, are proven to have negative effects on bees (read their labels!) and can cause Colony Collapse Disorder, in spite of what some misting companies and pest control guys say. We can share resources upon request.
Beware of the term “botanical insecticide.” That is a less offensive way of saying Pyrethrins and Pipernyl Butoxide, which is essential to the efficacy of Pyrethrins.
Studies show that children raised in agricultural areas where pesticide use is frequent show detrimental signs in mental and neurological development.