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What Is An Insect Repellent?
An insect repellent, also known as a bug spray, is a substance that is applied to the skin, clothing, or any other surface to discourage insects from climbing or landing on that surface.
The good thing about insect repellents is that they help in preventing and controlling the outbreak of diseases brought about by insects such as Lyme disease, malaria, bubonic plague, dengue fever, and West Nile fever. Animals which commonly act as disease vectors include insects such as a mosquito, fly, flea, and the arachnid tick.
For pests such as mosquitoes, repellents are any products that prevent their approach. The substance can be diverse and varied as coating, film, oil, spray, cream, and any powder that produces the same effect.
In addition to the irritation and unbearable itching caused by these insects swamping every night, they can be a reason for creating and spreading deadly diseases.
Some mosquito repellents are bug killers, but most of them merely discourage the insects and force them to fly away. The effectiveness of the repellents varies depending on the kind of material they are made from.
Mostly, the synthetic types are known to last longer than the natural kinds. The side effects of their improper use, as well as their risks, could be fatal in certain situations, hence the importance of storing and using the substances according to the instructions given.
In most cases, the mosquito repellent creams do not cause multitudes of side effects. However, if the substance is a multi-purpose product that is used in keeping off bugs and ants, the level of toxicity increases. For that reason, it is important to read the label of the repellent you buy before you can start using it.
Despite whether you reside in areas far away from stagnant water, waste products, or open garbage, you need to remember that pests, especially mosquitoes, can come from any region. Allergic reactions such as rashes and itching are the initial signs of a mosquito bite.
For that reason, you need to watch out for these signs so you can recognize the problem. Acknowledging the existence of mosquito menace is the first step to controlling their population.
3. The Executioner Mosquito Swapper Zapper, $19.99
Popular everywhere in the world except here, “the executioner” is an electrified tennis racket that allows you to both murder skeeters and pretend you’re Serena Williams. You’re not.
A typical mosquito bite begins with the female mosquito landing and probing with the labella to find a perfect spot. When she has found the right place to bite, she sinks her fascicle into the skin while the hypopharynx pumps out saliva. The labrum begins probing for a blood vessel. Once a blood vessel is found, the hypopharynx lays on the labrum creating a tube which pulls in blood and fills the mosquito’s abdomen. The blood is filtered within the mosquito, separating the water from the red blood cells – the water is then expelled from the rear end so that she can get the maximum amount of nutrition from the blood. This step allows a mosquito to ingest about five to ten times more nutrients than it would have with unfiltered blood. If you’re ready to watch the mosquito in-action, here’s a great video from PBS that explains how these mouthparts all work together.
Fun Fact: Inside of the stomach of the mosquito there is a nerve that indicates when the stomach is filled. If that nerve were to shut down, the mosquito would not stop drinking and burst from the pressure.
Myth Busted: No, you cannot make a mosquito explode by flexing a muscle. The theory is that you can trap the proboscis in your arm or leg by flexing a muscle, which stops the mosquito from leaving, forcing it to keep drinking until it explodes. This is absolutely not true (PDF).
What Colors Repel Mosquitoes?
Wearing certain colors helps repel mosquitoes. You become less attractive to annoying bugs and mosquitoes when wearing these colors.
Repel almost any insect, including mosquitoes, by wearing white clothes. According to the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, insects and mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, because they trap the CO2 produced by your body, which appeals to mosquitoes. Reduce the number of bites you get by wearing white clothing when you are outside.
Vibrant clothing, like pastels and cream colored clothing, helps repel mosquitoes. Avoid wearing dark colors like navy and black to keep mosquitoes from sucking your blood.
Mosquitoes can barely see the color yellow, so wearing yellow clothing helps to repel mosquitoes when you are outside. Yellow lights strung up outside also repel mosquitoes and prevent them from biting you.
8. BugZooka WB100 Bug Catcher Vacuum, $24.00
It’s a vacuum cleaner for mosquitoes without any of the pesky bug splatter. Now that’s a mass death we can all get behind!
- The claim that you can make a mosquito on your arm explode by flexing your muscle or pinching the vein is a myth. You will only end up with a worse bite for letting the mosquito drink its fill.
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Not only does the potent mosquito saliva keep us from detecting the mosquito’s presence by stopping our immune response, this is also how the unwitting creature spreads diseases. Since its saliva thins the blood, it makes it easier for a virion (complete viral particle) in the saliva to hop into our blood stream and infect our body. Malaria can get all the way to the liver within 20 minutes of being injected into our systems.
Do mosquitoes feel pain when you kill them?
They don’t feel ‘pain,’ but may feel irritation and probably can sense if they are damaged. Even so, they certainly cannot suffer because they don’t have emotions.
Now that you know how to make mosquito repellent, we hope that it will help you enjoy your outdoor events with the least damage from the bloodsuckers. Although there is a myriad of repellents on the market, picking one that would be effective is the right choice for keeping mosquitoes off.
On the other hand, making your own natural insect repellent would be an ideal option as this would help prevent the side effects of chemicals from the synthetic products. Most synthetic insect repellents are known to be harmful as they cause respiratory illness and interfere with the ecosystem. This is why it is always advisable to use natural methods for preventing and controlling the mosquito population.
For more of the best mosquito repellents, see our informative article on this topic to help you.
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