Electronic Mosquito Control

CC BY by frankieleon

Electronic Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes are a nuisance all across the globe and, in some cases, they pose a deadly risk with the diseases they carry. Mosquito control is a hot topic and there are plenty of electronic gadgets out there that falsely claim to repel mosquitoes through some form of pseudo-science. Before running out to waste money on the latest gimmick, it is important to consider why it does or doesn't work.

Zappers

Bug zappers are a tried-and-true method for killing some flying insects. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most big-box retailers and home improvement stores. However, they are ineffective in the fight against mosquitoes because the device draws in bugs that are attracted to UV light. Mosquitoes pay no mind to this light but are instead drawn to carbon dioxide. There is a chance that a mosquito might fly a bit too close to a bug zapper and meet its fate, but that isn't an effective means of control.

Ultrasound

The idea here is to modify the insects' mating behavior with ultrasonic frequency, as it was discovered that females find males through their wing-beat frequency. This would provide an affordable and eco-friendly way to combat swarms of the pests. The problem is, it simply doesn't work. According to The American Mosquito Control Association, the devices have "no repellency value whatsoever." That doesn't stop people from buying them, as the supposed science behind it sounds pretty good and people are eager to find a non-chemical way to combat mosquitoes.

Cheap Alternatives That Do Work

While pesticides containing DEET are effective in repelling mosquitoes, the side effects of the toxins aren't fully documented and many people seem to be moving away from that route. Luckily, there are some cheap and non-toxic ways to control the population in your personal space. Citronella, catnip, marigolds and horsemint are all easy plants to grow in the garden and mosquitoes don't like them. Citronella candles seem to be a new staple at the picnic table, as they burn for a long time and are fairly effective. Another way to cut back on mosquitoes around the house is to drain any standing water, which can be a hatching ground for new larvae.

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Diane

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