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Recommended Mosquito Sprays, Growth Regulators, Traps and Control Products
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Riptide Waterbased Pyrethrin
Demand CS Insecticide
Vector Ban Plus
(Mist or Spray)
Advanced Mist Concentrate (Misting)
Garlic Oil Repellent
3% Pyrethrum Concentrate (Misting)
Mosquito Repelling Granules
Natural Repellent Granules
Naprovit Pro Plus
Misting System Concentrate
Defend Insect and Mosquito
Insect Growth Regulator
30 Day Briquets
Mosquito Beater Plunks
Water Soluble Pouches
24 Water Soluble Pouches
Battery Mosquito Fogger
ULV Mister Fogger
Back Pack Sprayer - Model 425
Solo Power Mist Blower
3 Gallon - 53CC
Wheeled Sprayer - 2.5 Gallon
There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world; currently 176 species are recognized in the United States. The mosquito, houseflies and fruit flies are considered part of the same family as they each have two wings that are both clear and veined. Mosquitoes are well-known as summer pests and they develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days.
Mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera, the "True Flies". True Flies have two wings, but uncommon with other flies, mosquitoes have wings with scales. Female mosquitoes have a long needle-like beak they use for eating as well as "biting". Males differ from females as they have a feather-type antennae and mouthparts that are unable to pierce skin. Nectar or any sugar source is a male mosquitoes main source of food. Female mosquitoes depend on food (blood) from animals (horses, cattle, chickens, deer, rabbits, etc) or humans so they can get enough blood in order to develop eggs. If the the female is unable to get her meal of blood, she will die before laying any viable eggs.
Mosquitoes are usually pale brown with white stripes across the abdomen and anywhere from 1/4" to 3/8". They fly with their two front wings and their hind wings are small, club-shaped and are called halteres. These halteres vibrate when they fly and assist in maintaining balance. Mosquitoes tend to live and breed in soft, damp soil or stagnant water areas like storm drains, old tires, wading pools, birdbaths and any standing water.
Mosquito Life Cycle Stages
Mosquitoes have four life cycle stages: Egg, larva, pupa and adult. Here are the stages in more detail:
The stages depend on many variables and each species' various characteristics. The life span of the adult mosquito most often depends upon many factors like temperature, humidity, time of year and if the mosquito is female or male. Males quite often only live for one week, while females have been known to live around one month.
The four most common and annoying types of mosquitoes are the Aedes, Culex, Culiseta and Anopheles. The Aedes are painful and persistent biters and prefer to attack during the day. They usually feed on animals not humans. The Culex can also be painful and persistent biters but are dusk and after dark attackers. They prefer domestic and wild birds instead of humans. The Culex tarsalis is known for transmitting encephalitis, or sleeping sickness, to both man and horses. They quite often only live a few weeks during the summer months. The Anopheles are the only mosquito that transmits malaria to man. The Culiseta mosquitoes have a tendency to attack at night or in the shade during the day.
To Learn More About Specific Mosquitoes Visit - Mosquito Identification - Mosquitoes by Species
Control of Mosquitoes always begins with eliminating breeding spots. Without eliminating breeding spots, controls can only be aimed at killing adults. Fogs, mists and residual sprays will only go so far to control adult mosquitoes, and since many mosquito species can fly from several hundred feet away to bite you, continual application of these products must be made.
To control eggs and larvae, the use of Briquets or "Dunks" is a must. These products contain an ingredient known as "bacillus thurengensies" or BTI for short. BTI works by killing the larvae or "floaters". The larva are called floaters because they float near the surface of the water. They use a siphon like tube that points upward, breaking the surface of the water for air so that they can breath. BTI is applied directly to the water where mosquito larvae are found. The bacteria is suspended in the water and the bacterium produces a protein crystal. These protein crystals are ingested by the larvae when they are feeding. The mosquito larvae is then killed when the protein crystals dissolve and are converted into a toxic molecule that destroys the walls of the larvae's stomach. The larvae stop feeding within hours and dies within days.
Other forms of mosquito larvae control are Altosid Briquets and Altoside Pro-G Granules. These products contain methoprene, an "Insect Growth Regulator" that is also used in flea and fly control, to kill the larvae. The benefit of using Altosid is that it lasts several months once applied, compared to BTI which only lasts a few weeks. Altosid Briquets are intended to be used in standing water, and Altoside Pro G Granules are designed to be used as a "scatter" larvacide such as in wet swampy areas, old tire storage facilities, or areas where using a Briquet simply won't work.
In situations where Briquets, Dunks or Granules won't work or are not economically feasible, the use of a liquid IGR such as Nyguard may prove beneficial. Nyguard can be mixed with water and sprayed directly onto almost any surface including water to get control of mosquito larva. It can also be tank mixed with an insecticide product such as Onslaught, Riptide, Bifen IT, Suspend and others to provide control of the adults and also control of larvae. In residential situations, the use of a residual insecticide combined with Nyguard is highly recommended.
Control of adult Mosquitoes can be a daily, sometimes several times a day event. The use of sprays and fogs containing pyrethrum or a combination of pyrethrum and synthetic pyrethrum (called pyrethroids) is a toxic and popular combination. These products kill adult mosquitoes on contact and also work to repel others.
While most sprays and fogs are aimed at killing adult mosquitoes while airborne, a better method is to apply these products into the areas where they hide and rest. Under shrubs, trees, decks, planters, ivy and hanging plants, and under groundcover is where these biting menaces live and wait, until the time is right to begin their search for a host. It's also the best place to begin spraying.
Spraying into the air will kill adult mosquitoes - if the spray contact's them. But more often than not, when sprays are "fogged" or "misted" from a distance, wind and air movement simply carries the spray away and leaves the mosquitoes unharmed. This is the reason that most municipal and air borne mosquito control programs don't work. The insecticide never reaches the intended target. Another reason these programs often don't work, is that the actual amount of chemical being used - in some cases less than 1 ounce of chemical per acre of land, is simply not enough to provide adequate coverage of the target area. In some aerial applications from aircraft, the amount used is equal to 1 gallon of insecticide for 128 acres of land. In our opinion, this type of application is generally for publicity purposes, since it really doesn't do anything, it certainly won't kill mosquitoes hiding under a shrub.
Mosquitoes are notarious for being either a "daytime" biter or a "nightime" biter. Depending on the species involved, your control MUST take into consideration the species and the time of day (or night) when they are most active. Treatment at non-active times will render less than optimum results.
There are many mosquito insecticides and sprays available. The most popular professional mosquito insecticides are those that are considered "Natural" or "Organic" because they contain pyrethum - a botanical insecticide extracted from African and Australian Chrysanthemums. Those pyrethrum based insecticides such as Riptide, VamPyre and Pyronyl 303 as well as others are not really organic or natural. They could be considered "naturally derived", but due to their heavy refinement and the addition of a large concentration of a synergist (makes it more active) called PBO or Piperonyl Butoxide, they are not considered natural by the EPA. However they are very effective at killing mosquitoes.
The upside to using a pyrethrum based insecticide is that it kills quickly and does not leave much of a residue. This is more of an "organic" approach.
The downside to using these products is that they do not leave any residue and must be continually applied. That is why pyrethrum based insecticides for mosquito control tend to be heavily favorited by companies that install Mosquito Misting Systems. They are clean, don't leave any gunky residue in the lines or nozzles and also do not tend to stain fences, decks or cement.
Other chemicals that are "preferred" for mosquito control are those that are synthetic and microencapsulated. Microencapsulation tends to give a much longer life to an insecticide and help deter breakdown in the environment. Exposure to water, sunlight, and the environment can be the death of any insecticide outdoors, but microencapsulation tends to help overcome this. Chemicals such as Onslaught, Suspend SC, CyKick CS and Demand CS are microencapsulated and easily applied with a hand or backpack sprayer. These products cannot be used in a misting system.
Vector Ban, Vector Ban Plus, Bifen IT and Bifen XTS, are also great chemicals for outdoor mosquito control that are a little less expensive than Microcaps, provide some residual and normally won't stain fences, decks, cement, etc.
Natural & Organic Mosquito Control
If you are looking for a 100% Natural or Organic solution for mosquitoes, then carefully consider what ingredients and which methods you are going to use to apply it. Most of the time, when using a natural or organic solution, the control is much less than what you will get with a traditional insecticide. Almost all natural pest control products MUST contain an ingredient listed on the EPA's 25b Exempt List. Otherwise, the product must be registered with the US EPA as a pesticide.
There are no home remedies that will work to control or repel mosquitoes. However there are several naturally based products that will do a decent job. They just need continual reapplication to be effective.
Remember that BTI (Dunks) are natural and that IGR's (Nyguard) qualify as natural because they do not have any toxicity.
For natural mosquito control, consider using Essentria IC3, EcoVia, or Mosquito Barrier (Garlic). These products kill mosquitoes on contact, provide a very limited residual and usually won't kill the lizards and the butterflies, but will leave your yard smelling like a farmers market.
There are also several very good all natural mosquito repellent granules. These products are easy to apply, and provide a repellent barrier to mosquitoes for up to 72 hours and longer in some cases. They are perfect for parties, afternoon cookouts, campsites, picnics, weddings, and wherever the threat of mosquitoes could be an issue. Dr. T's Mosquito Repelling Granules, and Mosquito Beater Natural Granules are the overall best choices in this catagory.
In the past decade, mosquito misting systems have become very popular, especially in more affluent neighborhoods. This is because to have one of these systems installed requires an investment and an ongoing commitment to either a service plan or someone to maintain the system.
This is how mosquito misting systems work -
One of the advantages of a mosquito misting system is that it is automatic. The timer and in some systems a (handheld) remote switch similar to a garage door opener provide continous control as long as the system is working and the tank has chemical in it. The disadvantage is that if the system fails for some reason, runs out of chemical, etc, mosquitoes will be back almost immediately. For a more detailed explanation of the MISTER MOSQUITO SYSTEM installed by Dallas Ft. Worth Pest Control in Dallas, Texas, click here.
Spraying for mosquitoes by hand (instead of using an installed misting system or large truck mount system) can be tedious. This is because the area needed to be treated is usually large and the need for applications frequent. In our experience, if you choose to use a hand pump sprayer, and unless you are a very diligent person, control of mosquitoes is not usually what you expect. This is because the amount of effort required to perform this type of application is considerably more than using a commercial mist blower. This leads to quick uneven applications and even worse, missed applications because of time constraints.
If you want to make outside mosquito treatments easy, use a backpack sprayer, or even better yet, use a commercial quality mist blower. The best and fastest overall backpack mister is the Solo Power Mist Blower. This back pack mister holds 3 gallons of mosquito killing concentrate (your choice), is gasoline powered, and easily mists large areas in minutes.
If you want the speed an convenience of an electric mist blower, then the Boston Fog Battery Mister can easily accomplish the task. This mister is smaller, and holds in your hand just like an electric or gas leaf blower. It's small and compact, but easily mists large areas with ease. It holds a powerful 40 volt 4 amp battery that can give a full 40+ minutes of operation.
Other sprayers that can get the job done include the Solo Motorized Pack Back Sprayer, and the Solo 425 HD Back Pack Sprayer. The Solo Motorized Back Pack Sprayer is a gasoline (2 stroke) powered sprayer, while the Solo 425 HD is a hand pump sprayer. Either sprayer works good for outdoor applications, it just depends on how much hand pumping and how much time you want to spend. Our choice for outside spraying and misting is always a powered sprayer.
So the bottom line on outdoor Mosquito Control, is that you have to use a chemical that will give instant and residual effects. This means kill them quick, and provide enough residual to either kill them later or at least repel them to a tolerable level. Using either a gasoline or electric powered mist blower or back sprayer provides fast, easy applications to large areas, and also makes applications for those hard to reach areas, easier. Treatment under shrubs, trees, leaf clutter, ground cover, decks and other mosquito hideouts is actually more important than treatment in the open areas. Treat them where they hide every few days or weeks, use an Insect Growth Regulator at least every 60 days, and make sure that any standing water is eliminated.
If you do this, your battle against Mosquitoes will be won. If you choose to only spray occasionally, or do a limited treatment, keep the Bug Off repellent handy, you will probably need it.
Ways to Reduce and Prevent Mosquito Bites
Why Mosquitoes Bite You
Most of us have been "bitten by a mosquito." The truth is, mosquitoes don't actually bite. The female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar and blood. In order to reproduce, they need protein. To get to the blood, they pierce our skin with their proboscis or "a tube-like organ used for feeding, defense, or touch around the mouth," and suck our blood. Male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectars. Mosquitoes are at their peak at night and will sometimes fly up to 14 miles for a meal of blood. They hunt for their food by detecting body heat and the carbon dioxide (C02) we breathe out. To a mosquito, we appear to be an infrared "red" object (heat) with a halo of blue (C02) encircling us. To make matters more attractive, certain people tend to have a "mosquito attraction pheromone" that attracts mosquitoes. Certain colognes, perfumes, soaps and fragrances can also attract them. Bottom line on this is that if you don't want to take a chance on getting bite, use a mosquito repellent containing deet on you, your family, even your pets before you go outside and enter their hostile environment.
When trying to reduce or prevent mosquito bites, do your best to avoid places and time periods when mosquitoes are prone to feed. Generally, the peak feeding periods occur just before and after sunset and again just before dawn. Unfortunately, each species has its own peak period of feeding. Tree-hole and Asian tiger mosquitoes, for example, feed in daylight hours and usually, in or near shaded or wooded areas.
Here are some tips for reducing and preventing mosquito bites:
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