Are Mosquito Products Safe For Your Family?
There are plenty of mosquito products we can use to get rid of these nasty insects. Some of them are effective, some are not. It’s likely that we all own one of these mosquito products at home, but have you ever wondered how they work? What about if they are hazardous for your health? So let’s see what kind of mosquito products are out there and how safe they are.
Mosquito repellents are classified in two categories based on their purpose. The first category is the mosquito products that kill the insects. The second one are the products that repel mosquitoes. The products grouped in these two categories are further divided by indoor and outdoor mosquito products.
Is CO2 The Problem?
To understand how mosquito products work, we must understand what attracts mosquitoes. When humans and animals exhale, they give off CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other scents. Mosquitoes have sensors that can detect the presence of these chemicals at a distance of over 100 feet. Once the mosquito picks up the scent, they will immediately change direction and fly rapidly toward the intended victim. Therefore, the purpose of mosquito products would be either to attract and kill the insect or to deceive its senses.
In the fist category of mosquito products would be bug zappers and mosquito magnets. An electric bug-zapper works by attracting insects to a central ultraviolet light, surrounded by a lethal electrical grid. When the mosquito touches that grid, it burns. The best in this category, is the old mosquito magnet. The most high-tech (and expensive) weapon in the homeowner’s arsenal of mosquito products. It uses propane to emit carbon dioxide, just as people do, which is one of the things that helps mosquitoes find you. Once mosquitoes are lured to the device, they are sucked into a trap where they dehydrate and die. These are several consumer products with the purpose of luring, trapping, and killing mosquitoes.
The second category of products are the repellents. They work by blocking the receptors on mosquitoes antennae for the: moisture, warmth CO2 (carbon dioxide), and the odor produced by humans. Regardless if it is a spray or a lotion, the best repellent is DEET.
DEET (diethyl toluamide) was developed in Orlando in the 1950s and contains a synthetic chemical repellent. The mosquito repellents marketed today contain various concentrations of DEET. Some even contain up to 100 percent, which is not good for you. If you find a product that is 100% DEET, do not use it! Mosquito products containing 5 percent to 7 percent DEET, keep mosquitoes away for up to 2 1/2 hours.
Citronella, which is also part of this second mosquito repellent category, is a volatile, liquid oil, derived from dried cultivated grasses. It works by repelling animals and insects without harming or killing them. It has a distinctive odor, which also repels certain animals. Oil of Citronella is considered unlikely to cause harmful effects. So much so, that many citronella products are exempt from the usual regulations. The mosquito products containing citronella come in the form of candles, cartridges, and rub-on products.
These are several types of mosquito products on the market today. While DEET is effective at repelling mosquitos, we do not recommend it on skin. If you are going hiking, spray your clothing and backpack before using.
Let Us Help!
We offer Mosquito Abatement treatments on your yard to reduce the number of mosquitos and the use of the above listed products. Monthly mosquito treatments start as low as $50/month.
Absolute Pest Control is dedicated to making your home safe for you family. If you have a question about pests or any other pest problem, please call us at 615-220-1933 or click HERE to email us. We service most of Middle Tennessee including Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and LaVergne.