Mosquito repellent or mosquito control – which is better? Is it better to spray yourself all over with a mosquito repellent spray or to control mosquitoes so they are not there to bite you. Obviously the correct answer is to make sure there are no mosquitoes in your yard, but is that a realistic objective? Should you do both – try to prevent mosquitoes getting into your yard and spray yourself with mosquito repellent spray? Or is it a repellant spray? Don’t worry – spelling doesn’t matter! It’s not getting bitten that matters.
Here are some facts and tips about each of these. Some people prefer not have anything sprayed onto their skin and clothes, so you can miss the first section here.
Using Mosquito Repellents
Mosquito repellents are designed to dissuade mosquitoes from landing on you. Some are formulated only for your skin while others are equally effective on skin and clothing. By far the widest used mosquito repellent is DEET – standing for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide.
It is claimed by most suppliers to be safe, although there are some qualifiers that come with this. Some are:
- Do not apply more than once a day
- Do not allow the spray near your nose or mouth
- Do not breathe DEET spray in.
- Do not use the spray in confined spaces.
- Do not use DEET near food.
- Do not use under clothing
- Do not use DEET on babies of 2 months and under.
- Wash off your skin when you return indoors (EPA advice)
Yet DEET is safe! Why all these precautions if DEET is safe? Let’s face it, DEET is not safe – but it was developed by the US Army to protect troops so it must be safe! Are there any safer mosquito repellent sprays than DEET? Simple answer, yes – but they may not all be as effective. However, they are used and people that use them claim them to be effective. Among the safe types of insect repellent are pyrethrum and permethrin.
Pyrethrum: This was once made by grinding up dried chrysanthemum flowers. Today it is extracted using solvents and made into a spray. Its problem is that it degrades in sunlight, so does not provide lasting protection.
Permethrin: This is a synthetic insecticide with a chemical structure based upon that of pyrethrum. It has been found to be at least as effective as pyrethrum but is more stable in sunlight. It is a safe and effective mosquito repellent for humans and dogs, but is highly toxic to cats due to the way a cat’s metabolism works. It is also deadly to mosquitoes but safe for children.
Citronella Oil: Citronella is a good insect repellant that is safe for the whole family, including babies and cats! Try it first, and go onto permethrin if it does not work.
It is very important that if you do use DEET, you wash it off when you come indoors and try not to use it on young children. Never use it on babies – they say under two months, but you are taking a risk using it on young children of any age. The younger they are, the more risk you are taking. Never let it touch your clothes, because if it does it is safest to give the item of clothing a thorough wash.
Mosquito repellent or Mosquito Control Systems?
Mr. Mister recommends that you use an effective mosquito control system. First make sure that you have no mosquitoes currently living in your yard, garden or even in your home. Yes, mosquitoes can take up residence, particularly in warm, damp cellars.
Clear out your drains, guttering, downpipe areas, old containers in your yard such as cans, tubs, bird baths, fountains, ponds and anywhere standing water can lie for a few days – a few days, that’s all it takes for a mosquito to lay her eggs and for these to turn into biting adults! They can even breed in cracks in your brickwork or at the junction of a path and a wall.
If you are unsure, contact us and we will do all that for you. We will then spray all those areas plus undergrowth, long grass, shrubbery and anywhere mosquitoes can hide and breed when not actively biting you. Our ClearZoneTM mosquito control service will rid your yard of mosquitoes. It is a very effective treatment, but you must also make sure that new invaders are repelled before they can breed.
Automatic Mosquito Control Sprays
We can offer an automatic mosquito control system in the form of a spray which switches on at preset times. It doesn’t take long to install the system of pipes and feeder canisters to hold the mosquito control insecticide we use – this is generally permethrin. The spray is set to turn on at certain times such as just before dusk. That is when mosquitoes are traditionally on the move to your yard from their main breeding grounds around slow rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks where they swarm before attacking your barbecue or pool party. The spray deters and destroys them as well as coating the undergrowth where they end to congregate and rest.
Sure, this is way into July going into to August but you already have mosquitoes they will not just disappear. The Mr. Mister mosquito control system can be installed at any time of the year, and we can rid your yard of these insects any day you want irrespective of the day of the week or the season.
So: mosquito repellent or mosquito control? There are few doubts that Atlanta mosquito control is a more effective method of avoiding bites than mosquito sprays. The latter may deter mosquitoes. But likely not them all. By using effective mosquito control techniques, there are no mosquitoes around to bite you and you can enjoy your yard without being slathered in insecticide.