- $39 for a mosquito treatment on up to a half acre ($99 value)
Four Things to Know About Mosquitoes
Pest-control technicians can do a thorough job of eliminating mosquitoes. While you’re waiting for the pros to arrive, learn what else you can (and can’t) do to avoid their needle-nosed bite.
1. They’re stalking your breath. They can use other secondary clues such as light, motion, and even the body’s natural chemistry and skin bacteria to detect a meal, but mosquitoes are primarily attracted to the carbon dioxide we expel each time we exhale. How much carbon dioxide you emit is determined by your metabolic rate, so if you raise yours by drinking a beer or doing jumping jacks, you’re likely to attract a denser cloud.
2. DEET is good, but not perfect. The chemical compound behind the most powerful mosquito-repellent sprays doesn’t smell great—to humans or to mosquitoes. In fact, the chemical confuses skeeters’ sense of smell, preventing them from correctly identifying and snacking on their human targets. But just as people can become habituated to the smell of cigarettes if they smoke or molasses if they live in a gingerbread house, a significant percentage of mosquitoes can learn to ignore DEET over time, PLOS One reported in 2013. Plus, some are born genetically immune to it in the first place.
3. You can kill them with flowers. Sort of. When a pest-control pro sprays your yard with a barrier solution, its active ingredient is probably a pyrethrin—a chemical derived from chrysanthemum flowers—or a synthetic analogue called a pyrethroid. This poisoned bouquet does in mosquitoes by penetrating their nervous systems, quickly preventing them from moving and ultimately resulting in death. All-natural sprays also exist, but they won’t actually kill the bugs and need to be applied more frequently.
4. For extra security, you could install a wind machine. All spindly legs and flimsy wings, mosquitoes simply aren’t very aerodynamic. Winds as slight as one mile per hour can keep them grounded.