Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Innovative Mosquito Control Products

Cartoon "No Mosquito" sign

It’s officially summer, but most of us have been dealing with heat for quite some time already. And this means we’ve been dealing with mosquitoes for quite some time already as well. Luckily, there are more products than ever before that control these dangerous flying pests. They are, after all, the most dangerous animal in the world (here’s more on that). Here at ARBICO we have a great selection of highly-effective mosquito control products. Many of them are of the tried-and-true variety (personal repellents, sprays, zappers), which most people are familiar with, while others are the result of years (even decades) of creative thinking and innovative research and development. 

 - Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) – 

A cartoon mosquito just hanging aroundBti is the OG of biological mosquito control. In 1976, Dr. Yoel Margalith (aka Mr. Mosquito) discovered Bti in samples from dying mosquitoes found in a pond in the Negev Desert of Israel. With further study, he determined that this naturally-occurring soil bacterium is deadly to mosquitoes when ingested but has no negative impact on non-target species and the environment (more on his work here). Bti causes mosquito larvae to stop feeding within one hour, followed by paralysis and death. This biocontrol can be applied directly to water (including drinking water), which makes it especially useful in a variety of circumstances from horse throughs to large-scale municipal water treatment facilities. We offer several different varieties of Bti, at a price point accessible to most anyone. If you have areas of standing water (large or small) that are your main mosquito-breeding locations, this is a no-fuss, no-worry product with a proven history of effectiveness. An added bonus: it is also effective against black flies and fungus gnats.

A cartoon mosquito screaming in feaR

 - Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) – 

Bs is similar to Bti in that it contains spores that are toxic to mosquito larvae when ingested but is not harmful to other creatures or the environment. This is a selective larvicide and only works on certain types of mosquitoes; luckily these are some of the most common and deadly. It has several key differences from Bti: It is a selective larvicide; it cannot be used in drinking water; it works in highly organic aquatic environments (something Bti struggles with), and it persists where it is applied for longer periods of time than Bti. If you have a considerable area to treat and need that treatment to last as long as possible, this is an excellent choice for you. We have two exceptional Spheratax products that utilize this particular strain of Bacillus.

A cartoon mosquito that appears to be flying fast to get away.
 - No-Bait Traps – 

The Enoz® Trap-N-Kill A-G-O Mosquito Trap and Skeet-O-Trap™ are traps that use a mosquito’s natural behaviors to lure them in instead of baits. They are designed to mimic the dark places with stagnant water that mosquitoes favor as a place to lay their eggs. Instead of baits, they use grass or hay clippings in water to get that stagnant water effect. The Skeet-O-Trap does not capture the adults; it only works to keep the larvae from escaping. The Enoz trap will kill both adults and larvae. Both traps are designed to work year after year and are effective against multiple mosquito species.A cartoon mosquito lying dead

 - SKEETER Mosquito Control – 

SKEETER Mosquito Control is brand new in 2022 and is no less than ground-breaking. It combines botanical oils (garlic and soybean) with nematodes (Heterorhabditis megidis) to provide quick and long-lasting control of larvae, pupae, and any young adults who may still be hanging around. The oils suffocate and kill on contact and the nematodes search out the larvae, enter their bodies, and release a bacterium into their bloodstream. This kills the larvae within 48 hours and the nematodes use the dead and dying larvae as a food source, which extends the efficacy of SKEETER to 30 days. The use of oils combined with nematodes makes for an exciting, and definitely innovative, product.

A cartoon mosquito with a big red X in front of it - Spatial Repellents – 

We are all familiar with the type of repellents that we apply to ourselves or to an outside area, but this type of repellent is a bit different. Bradshaw’s 4 Ring Protection Spatial Repellents form a dome of protection around an area using DEET-free botanical oils. Simply hang a pouch near the area you want to protect and the pleasant-smelling vapor it emits will draw the mosquitoes to it and away from where you want to be. It not only lures the mosquito, but it also interferes with their receptors so that they stop seeking a blood meal. This is not just an easy-to-use and cost-effective mosquito control product; it also lasts for days – considerably longer than other products. A cartoon of a mosquito's grave - his image is on the headstone.

 - Spinosad – 

Spinosad is nothing new in the world of pest control, but Natular® DT and Natular® G30 WSP bring it in a water-soluble form to control mosquito larvae. Natular DT is an effervescent tablet with an outer layer that dissolves quickly and begins killing immediately, but it also contains a layer that lasts 90 days for continued control. Natular G30 WSP comes in pouches with 10 grams of product in each. They last 30 days each in water but break down quickly in sun and soil. These are truly apply-and-forget forms of mosquito control.  

No matter which of these first-rate products fits your needs and wallet, you can be assured that it has the potential to keep summer-spoiling mosquitoes away.

Submitted by Pam

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Mosquito Deterrents

Cartoon mosquito looking at stop sign
There’s just no getting around the fact that mosquitoes are more than nuisances – they’re dangerous and formidable opponents. We carry many excellent mosquito control products, but there are additional things one can do to improve their chances in the war between humans and mosquitoes. 

If you’re going to be out and about and know that mosquitoes will be a problem, you can begin your defense plan as soon as you get out of the shower. There are oils and lotions that are very helpful in repelling mosquitoes but choose carefully because some may actually be inviting bites.
A group of smiling cartoon mosquitoes. Certain essential oils, including lemon eucalyptus peppermint, lavender, geranium and citronella oil, have time-proven efficacy as repellents so apply them to your body generously. A secondary benefit of using these oils is the delightful scent that will surround you.  
Catnip oil is another oil to try. According to this article, the oil is extracted from the catnip plant via steam distillation, and the process eliminates the chemicals that make catnip irresistible to cats. The catnip plant is known to have a scent mosquitoes dislike, so it only makes sense that the distilled oil would be even more repellent to them.
A smiling cartoon mosquito.
For the most part, flowery perfumes and body lotions should be avoided. However, there is one strong exception to this rule: Avon’s Skin So Soft. Over many, many years millions of people have found this body oil to be an exceptional mosquito repellent. In fact, this product has been used by U.S. Marines as a mosquito repellent for more than 50 years on and around their training facility on Parris Island South Carolina. In the low country down there, mosquitoes are voracious, so these tough marines douse themselves in this sweet-smelling stuff. After all, it’s better to smell girly than be eaten alive. 
A leering cartoon mosquito with a knife and fork.
You should be aware that the above types of oils do not have the long-lasting effect that many commercial mosquito repellents do. On average, they last about two hours.

After you have carefully considered what to put on your bare body, put a little extra thought into what you wear (after all, you’ll look good in anything). 
Mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 that mammals produce, but they also use their vision to zero in on a target. According to this article, as they fly characteristically slow and low to the ground, they respond to dark objects on the horizon. Which means you should probably choose a pastel as opposed to your favorite Goth outfit.
This study takes the whole color thing one step further. It finds that mosquitoes like red, orange, black and cyan and snub green, purple, blue and white.
A cartoon mosquito quivering in fear.
Mosquitoes love the sweaty dirtiness of feet and there is very little as annoying as mosquito bites between your toes. For these reasons, skip the sandals and put some shoes on (even better, with socks).
While summer seems more bearable in cool and flowing clothing, if you are interested in doing everything you can to avoid mosquitoes than you need to don some tightly woven synthetic clothing (extra points for a high tech athletic wear made for sun protection). Mosquitoes may seem small, but their proboscises are rather large insect-wise and simply cannot fit through some of these fabrics. The downside is that  you’ll need to wear long sleeves and pants for optimal results, which may be a little too much coverage on a particularly hot day.
A group of cartoon mosquitoes looking scared and worried.

No one is able to control the whole outdoors, of course, but you should look at the outdoor space you can control – your backyard, patio, porch or balcony.
You probably already know that you should remove all standing water, but you may not be aware that mosquitoes only need a bottle-cap of water to lay their eggs in. It is also easy to overlook breeding spots like gutters, recycling bins, drains and saucers under plants. Instead of a quick once-over, give your outdoor space some careful
A cartoon mosquito screaming in fear.
consideration to root out standing water.
Reconsider the plants in your space to make sure you don’t have any that are welcoming to mosquitoes. If you do, remove them and add plants that repel skeeters. Nectar-producing flowers and water plants are attractive to mosquitoes (here’s more on that), while the plants that contain the aforementioned oils are excellent repellents (there are others too, check them out here). 
Keep all your grasses cut down and remove any yard debris. Mosquitoes love to hide out in the relative safety of such places; it protects them from the elements – particularly sun and wind.
A cartoon mosquito running in fear.
Speaking of wind, mosquitoes are poor flyers so put a fan in your outdoor space. If it is set high enough mosquitoes will not be able to fight the wind it produces in order to get to you
A short clip of two cartoon mosquitoes in love, until  one gets squished and the other drinks its blood. The proper outdoor lighting can also help with mosquito control. We are all familiar with the horde of insects beating against a porch or backdoor light, but a change of bulbs can element that behavior. Use incandescent or LED lighting, especially that which has a yellow glow, and you’ll see fewer mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to lessen the effect of mosquitoes. All of these tips are valuable, but when used in conjunction with commercial mosquito control products you should see a marked improvement. If none of this works for you, you may just want to stay inside until the first frost kills the mosquitoes.

Submitted by Pam

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