Let’s face it, there is nothing more dreadful than heading outdoors to walk the dog, check the mail, or spend time with family and friends only to get frantically bombarded by biting mosquitoes. Or even worse, waking up covered with itching mosquito bites, realizing you were a sleeping buffet in the comfort of your own home.
When it comes to prevention and treatment, the list of homemade remedies and hardware store mosquito traps, harmful chemical sprays, and fumigators is never ending … as is the mosquito population in and around your home.
There are many to choose from, however, from our vast experience, our solution is really the most effective method we have found to safely and effectively liberate yourself from caging yourself indoors to avoid these pests. Let’s take a look at how some of these mosquito traps and control methods work and compare to the Conquistador method.
Why Control Mosquitoes?
Arizona is home to several species of mosquitoes, most of which do not pose any health risk. They only ruin our fun outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn, when the females tend to bite the most. The males, like human males, prefer to lounge around feeding on nectar at the local flower bar. There are, however, some mosquito species to cause concern.
One looming threat is the Aedes aegypti, a daytime biting mosquito able to carry Zika, Dengue and Yellow Fever, and a painful muscle and joint condition caused by the Chikungunya virus. It has no treatment or preventative measure other than not getting bitten.
Fortunately, with the exception of Chikungunya, these infectious diseases have not found their way to the U.S. yet. However, due to how intermingled our world continues to become, these infectious mosquito carrying diseases could find a permanent home in the U.S. by hitching a ride on infected vacation travelers, foreign visitors and migrants. And these are serious threats. Zika virus, for example, is terrifying; an infected mosquito can bite pregnant women and cause a serious birth defect to their babies… a shrunken head!
Therefore, besides being a nuisance, it’s becoming more and more important to control mosquito populations in and around your home.
In the Southwest today, the real concern is the Culex mosquito, carrier of the West Nile virus, a potentially deadly disease that can be passed from birds to humans. This flying vampire is known as the house mosquito. It can easily enter your home and even though lacking your spoken invitation, this disease carrier will not be rendered powerless. Garlic may work in the movies, but not with these buggers, although they do tend to feed at dusk and dawn, so you’ll need to take heightened measures during those times.
What Attracts Mosquitoes
Food – yep, that’s you. Mosquitoes have tremendous food detection abilities. They find you by detecting the carbon dioxide you exhale at every breath. So every time you see a mosquito, you can quite literally imagine her humming the song lyric, “every breath you take… I’ll be watching you”, by The Police.
Water – More than people, what really attracts mosquitoes are ideal locations to grow their populations. Puddles of water, even as small as a quarter cup, can be a breeding and spawning ground. Any standing water, wet mulch from dead leaves, even after the surface dries, can easily host thousands of mosquitos waiting for the ideal time of day to feed and breed.
Darkness – Mosquitoes are dark dwellers. They prefer dark shadowy areas around your yard. Even dark and regularly watered soils tend to attract them more than dryer lighter areas. I’ve even done experiments with different color clothing fabrics. The darker the fabric, the more mosquitos would hover. Black shirts are a mosquito magnet!
Traditional Repellant and Extermination
Repellant methods that are effective are personal products such as clothing treatments, body sprays, creams, and lotions that you use when you are going camping, hiking in deep woods or even a trip to the park. The most common and effective ingredient in many of these products is a chemical called DEET. It has a very unpleasant scent, even to humans, and can cause irritation or burning sensations on the skin, especially if applied while sweating. Reapplication is usually required every few hours. Many of these warning labels state not to use on a continual basis and to shower immediately after you return indoors and to wash exposed clothing.
No one wants to have to apply these products just to have a bbq or take a nap. Not Fun! It’s common sense prevention to keep spawning areas to a minimum. That’s easy to do around your home, but much harder to do for your neighbors. So how do mosquito traps work to control them from hovering around your home altogether?
There are many outdoor living sites that will list various herbs you can add to your garden that supposedly help deter mosquitos, however if there is any regular watering that creates standing water, moist dark soil, mosquitos will swarm even if you have all the right herbs. We did a yard test with the most recommended herbs and we actually saw an increase in swarming mosquitoes.
There are even some catchy ads promoting the use of ultrasonic sound waves to repel mosquitos away. Most of these methods, with the exception of DEET, do not repel effectively enough to keep mosquitos under control.
Extermination methods involve saturating the ground around your home with chemical poisons that prevent larvae from hatching and kill living mosquitos after long exposure. Many of these products attach to a garden hose to apply and require protective gear. If you have children and pets and want to maintain a chemical free and safe environment, these are not ideal. Especially when the labels state to never let these chemicals land on flat non-porous surfaces like porches. No thank you!
Chemical Free Mosquito Traps
With that in mind, several products have found their way onto hardware store shelves claiming to keep your home clear of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes traps start with attractants such as:
- UV Light
- Co2 Emitters
Once the bugs are attracted, they are either zapped or trapped. Unfortunately for the zappers, most mosquitos are much smaller than the zapper screens, make noises every time a larger bug get’s shocked out of existence, and are very unpleasant indoors. Most of these products only use UV light, which doesn’t really attract mosquitoes as they are unlike most other insects.
The more expensive traps will add Co2 emitters and mimic human body temperatures. One lured, these mosquito traps use a powerful fan and funnel to suck them into and capture the bugs in a container made of very fine metal mesh. Due to the consistent air flow, flying insects are unable to escape, eventually dehydrating to death.
The issue is, UV light, heat, and Co2, although theoretically attract mosquitos, do not really mimic the human body. They are great at catching other insects, especially larger moths that tend to attract to porch lights, but we see very few mosquitos trapped. One customer had the highest rated trap that claimed to control mosquitos over a whole acre of land! This individual had it running 24/7 for an entire year just on a small back porch and still could not go outside without getting turned into a human pin cushion.
The other issue is that UV light is harmful for humans to look at. Easy for adults to remember, but children are more likely to stare and potentially cause eye damage.
The Conquistador Advantage
Our traps use an entirely different approach. We don’t mimic food, which is you, we actually create the perfect spawning environment – water. Our water traps have a specialized netting that attracts and allows females to lay eggs. However, the netting is laced with a material that prevents the eggs from hatching. This material sticks to the females and is spread to other spawning grounds, killing the entire population, including the female.
These traps are discretely and strategically placed around your property, out of site, out of mind and safe from children and pets. No chemical sprays and no fancy hyped up devices that require electricity. We stopped them where they love to be most…. Their home. One customer shared with us that she was never able to sit on her back porch during her favorite times of day. After a couple of weeks with our expert traps being tucked away on her property, she was able to boldly enjoy the outdoors “without a single mosquito!”
There is a lot of marketing jargon for products that are a catch all for many pest problems. When it comes to the need for controlling mosquitos, one size does not fit all.
That’s why we recommend hiring professional exterminators from Conquistador Pest & Termite Inc. because we have done the research and have the experience and knowledge needed to safely control mosquito populations where it matters most.
Call us today for more information or visit our services page. You won’t regret it!