Picture credits: Angela Handfest
Recent reports have shown a rise in dangerous mosquito activity as the weather gets wet and warm, ideal for mosquito breeding. It is necessary, now more than ever before, to find ways to eradicate these pests to avoid getting harmful diseases like the Buruli Ulcer, Barmah Forest virus, Dengue fever, Murray Valley Encephalitis, Ross River virus, Japanese encephalitis and more. Learn more about Mosquito-borne diseases prominent in Australia here.
But what is the best way for you to keep the mozzies at bay? By the time you finish reading this, we hope to have helped you determine exactly that.
How do these mozzies always find me?
Before we get into how to repel them, let us first talk about how they find us. The way mozzies identify us as prey is unique. It is usually the females that do the hunting as they need sustenance to grow their eggs. Their hunting process starts with identifying our smells. The smell of carbon dioxide, which we cannot smell, arouses their appetite. Once they smell the CO2 we breathe out, their eyes begin to scan surroundings for visual patterns and certain colours to identify and attack a potential host (human). Colours like red, orange, black and cyan attract them more because they are similar to the light human skin emanates.
Difference in male and female mosquitoes. Source: www.freesvg.org
How about bug spray?
We usually use things like a bug spray or an insecticide that has been used for years! They work by penetrating the outer shell of the mosquito and attacking their nervous system. The invasive mosquito species have had to deal with them for a long time and have become somewhat resistant to them. Mozzies have evolved by developing a tougher outer shell or a different defence mechanism to block these harmful chemicals before they reach their nervous system.
Studies conducted recently by academics in Malaysia and the UK have revealed that once a mosquito is exposed to a dose of pesticides present in everyday bug sprays (malathion, propoxur, deltamethrin, permethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) and made it out alive, they develop the ability to identify them and avoid them. In the Solomon Islands and West Africa, mozzies have developed innate behaviours to find a way around pesticides by changing the direction they come from or by changing feeding times. This means that the mozzies will get repelled for the time being however, the pesticide will not kill them. It is only a way of temporary relief but not permanent eradication.
However, if you are looking for an effective and natural bug spray, you will not go wrong with the Pestrol Ultra Summer Survival Pack.
You need to be sure that your surroundings are mozzie-free at all times. So, all the options to repel/deter/eradicate are important to consider and understand.
What will keep the mozzies away?
The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, and what we personally recommend, is to eradicate them. Our range of Mosquito Products has a little bit of everything. From indoor/outdoor traps and zappers, to candles, balms and bands, we’ve got it all! Pestrol Mosquito Traps are great products that will last you for years. If you can’t pick from our range (We get it. We love them all, too!), have a look at this great article on The Best Mosquito Traps that explains more about them in detail.
Read more about Mosquitoes with Pestrol:
Mosquito bites, treatment, prevention and the latest news >
Mosquito-borne diseases in Australia >
The Best Mosquito Traps and How They Work >
Can Mosquitoes Spread Covid-19 Virus? >
Top 10 Tips For Outdoor Mosquito Problems >
What does la nina mean for mosquito plague? >
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The Pestrol Mosquito Zappers are also great products. Our range includes many different kinds; from bug swatters, to plug-in mosquito zappers, to solar-powered zappers and rechargeable zappers.
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For the outdoorsy people:
If you are someone that spends a lot of time outdoors in the sun, wearable insect repellents would be your best bet. These also work well if you do not like the feeling of insect repellent on your skin as they do not have a smell and feel like regular clothes/bracelets. Our wide range has a lot of options for you to choose from.
Insect Repellent Clothing by Insect Shield is great for anyone that works outdoors everyday as they last up to 70 washes and offer some sun protection. Mozzigear is another great line of products within our range. These are innovative wearable devices, bands, patched and wipes that promise to effectively keep mosquitoes at bay. This range is also great for kids as their products are absolutely hassle-free and can just be worn/attached to clothing.
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Another age-old method used to repel insects is the use of topical insect repellents. Our team and customers love the Mosi-guard Roll-On and Control Spray (they have raving 5 star reviews). Along with the amazing Mosquito Repellent wrist bands, Parakito Insect Repellent is also a great product that you should definitely check out. This formulation is carefully made and can even be safely used by pregnant women and 1 year olds!
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For the naturalists:
We are all for using the most effective way to get rid of pests but pesticides and insecticides are no joke. If not used as directed, they can be seriously damaging to your health and to wildlife/pets. If a natural alternative to traditional pest control is what you prefer, have a look at our range of Murphy’s Natural products. They use all-natural, plant-based active ingredients for their products. Nothing that you wouldn’t know how to pronounce is in any of these products.
One great part of the range we carry is the new-age insect repellents by Good Riddance. They do not feel sticky on your skin and smell great, unlike any other mosquito repellent.
The Pestrol Outdoor Mozzie Barrier is also a great, all-natural repellent that uses essential oils with naturally repellent properties to ward off mozzies outdoors. You also get to pick from 4 different, great smelling essential oils (Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavender or Eucalyptus).
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Sougoufara, S. et al, 2022Scientific Reports, “Standardised bioassays reveal that mosquitoes learn to avoid compounds used in chemical vector control after a single sub-lethal exposure”, 12 (2206).