• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Insects at risk versus killing bugs that bite!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We have a dilemma of conscience.

We don’t want to kill pollinators but are being attacked 24/7 by biting mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes spread diseases such as Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Fever, Dengue and more.


9C8E682F-1AEA-485D-867B-0FF086970A39.jpeg


one whacked Mosquito on my bed!
Southern California we have a wave of mosquitoes

We are being bitten every day and night. So for indoors I have3 electric zappers in my bedroom!

08389DF4-90AE-4477-B069-316019CD146D.jpeg

But what about for outside and the risk to precious pollinators?
 

Paul Iddon

Moderator
Some say lemon eucalyptus oil will keep them away from your skin if applied. Growing lavender in the garden is a natural way of reducing numbers. Reducing water (it goes stagnant quickly even in bird baths) helps, because mozzies thrive in it.

Paul.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Some say lemon eucalyptus oil will keep them away from your skin if applied. Growing lavender in the garden is a natural way of reducing numbers. Reducing water (it goes stagnant quickly even in bird baths) helps, because mozzies thrive in it.

Paul.
Thanks for the information. I did check that!

Yes, “lemon eucalyptus oil is said to be effective but not the cto rally different aldehyde in “oil of lemon eucalyptus”

Now it will check lavender plants!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I see a lot of plants, including lavender are recommended as “bug repellants”.

But what do they do to pollinators?

Here is an excellent resource from The University of Michigan detailing the safe use of natural soaps, oils and biologicals to control serious pets but protect pollinators.

1. in short, apply at dawn and dusk when pollinators are less active

2. use commercial not home-made remedies so that there is serious control of toxicity to flowering plants and pollinators.

3. only use products for specific pests and infested plants and not based on seasonal scheduling and large area applications.

But what about UV and octanol or C02 lured electric zappers?

Asher
 

Paul Iddon

Moderator
I don't destroy any insects, so to remove them is alien to me - though I can see the need in different climates.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
This is a very complex question. Insects are not all attracted to the same kind of light and mosquitoes need additional lures to fall into a light trap, usually a CO2 emitter. More on mosquitoes traps here:

But basically: yes, a UV trap using discharge tube, as the one on the picture appears to be, is likely to remove more of the other insects than of mosquitoes.

If you are outside, there are few strategies that will work. Natural repellents have ceased to be effective as mosquitoes have evolved to cope with the odors. DEET is still effective and you could consider wearing long sleeve light cotton shirts and spreading DEET on the fabric. Even if the spray is supposed to be sprayed directly on the skin, it is safer in that way.

For your home, as mosquitoes do not fly very far, the first move would be to remove all sources of stagnant water, which mosquitoes depend on for reproduction and California is a dry climate. Usually, these are cups under plant pots or even the plants themselves (bromeliads like the pineapple have a small puddle of water in the middle). Then, a net on the windows is what works best. Alternatively, there are insecticide diffusers. The ones I use in France attach to a power plug for the night and diffuse a low level of pyrethroids from a small bottle. They are used with windows open.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I don't destroy any insects, so to remove them is alien to me - though I can see the need in different climates.
Paul,

In more humid climates, locusts can devour every leaf for Mike’s and biting insects can carry so many devastating diseases.

In the UK, except for lice, scabbed and bedbugs, humans get off lightly!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This is a very complex question. Insects are not all attracted to the same kind of light and mosquitoes need additional lures to fall into a light trap, usually a CO2 emitter. More on mosquitoes traps here:

But basically: yes, a UV trap using discharge tube, as the one on the picture appears to be, is likely to remove more of the other insects than of mosquitoes.

If you are outside, there are few strategies that will work. Natural repellents have ceased to be effective as mosquitoes have evolved to cope with the odors. DEET is still effective and you could consider wearing long sleeve light cotton shirts and spreading DEET on the fabric. Even if the spray is supposed to be sprayed directly on the skin, it is safer in that way.

For your home, as mosquitoes do not fly very far, the first move would be to remove all sources of stagnant water, which mosquitoes depend on for reproduction and California is a dry climate. Usually, these are cups under plant pots or even the plants themselves (bromeliads like the pineapple have a small puddle of water in the middle). Then, a net on the windows is what works best. Alternatively, there are insecticide diffusers. The ones I use in France attach to a power plug for the night and diffuse a low level of pyrethroids from a small bottle. They are used with windows open.
Jérôme,

I knew you would have wisdom to share. Thanks so much!

I will check in the morning for saucers and plates below plant pots. It could be from the neglected deteriorating empty house next door. Mosquitoes are supposed to have a very short range of flight!

A lot of folk are experiencing bites right now but no one else to such an extent!

I don’t think our insect screens are fitted tightly at the edges!

I shudder to think about the cost of replacing them to seal perfectly. Lijely we need an entirely new set of doors!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We may have two separate problems.

I caught several of these:


1D6065AD-4822-48F5-8C44-FE0EA68680DF.jpeg


Could bea drain fly!

F0E125E0-6708-40A5-B7D5-2E4D6895F308.jpeg


We are having a broken sewer line repairs and perhaps these are the main biters!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
So, basically, you have an infestation of two different kind of insects, each of which requires a puddle of stagnant water for their reproduction and you live in a dry climate. You simply need to find the puddle of water. It may indeed be the empty house next door and, unless it has been raining recently, would point to a leaking water pipe or faucet. The local authorities may be of assistance.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Apparently we may have an invasion City wide of either Aedes aegupti or else the Asian Tiger mosquitoes and they have a flight range of up to 1 mile!

They rest on the underside of leaves and we have 60 ft of 20 ft tall ficus. We will spay with something that is not lethal to bees and do so at dusk.

I have ordered some exterior UV mosquito traps. I already observed a moth moths to fly in!

I am looking into specific lures of females laying eggs and will try to recruit enough neighbors to deplete their local density.

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Well... Mosquitoes can fly some distance, but they don't usually do unless they have to. And, in a large city, you are probably not palatable enough for them to come right to your house from very far away while there are other humans to bite on the way. I would still look for puddles of water.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jérôme,

I found one plant pot with a tray underneath with stagnant water but no evidence of egg rafts or pupae! I will empty it today. On two sides there are no standing water sources in the house lots that I can find. But the abandoned house next door could be a source. I might put traps there!

I have contacted the County Vector Control 2 days ago, but no one has called back!

Meanwhile, we retreated upstairs with two UV Zappers at the doorway. We heard several Zaps but I was still awarded 3 new bites.

King size popup mosquitoes-tent arrives today! Also visit by a commercial pest control salesman!!!

Asher
 
Asher, I'm sorry for your mosquito problem. There is a gully behind our yard and in that gully is a small stream where mosquito seem to breed. There is not one window in my house without screens. It is essential, and even then, they sometimes come in when you open a door. Dusk seems to be the worst. You also have some moth fly that I know nothing about. Outdoors, unfortunately we will use Deet repellent. If it is not too hot, try to put it on our clothes. It's smelly though. This year was a very dry summer for us, and we hardly had any mosquitos at all.
I do know some people that swear by planting cedar trees but for your case that would not really help because of the time factor and I don't think planting full grown trees would be economical! I know none of this is quite helpful to you, but that I know the misery you are going through!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I just closed a 1” gap around my new elevated skylight as I feel that’s where mosquitoes were entering. Have to two mosquitoes zappers by the door of my bedroom and a giant one outside of it in thr den 20 ft away. I still got 2 new bites last night but that’s a great reduction. I feel I need to keep the zapping traps going for a few more days to get rid of stragglers and those they Darth in when the door is opened!
 
Top