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Learn About Mosquitoes

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We all know that mosquitoes are annoying and their bites can cause itching, swelling, and ugly sores and welts. However, these problems fade into insignificance when compared with the real health risks mosquitoes bring. Did you know that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have donated over $2 billion to help combat mosquito disease in third world countries?

According to the World Health Organisation, over 700,000 people die every year from diseases caught from mosquitoes. It sounds crazy, but this truly means that mosquitoes are the worlds most deadly creature.

Much closer to home, cases of mosquito carried diseases are rising rapidly. As recently as March 2015, NSW Health reported that the number of cases of Ross River Fever seven times higher than for the same time the previous year. Kunjin virus, Murray Valley encephalitis, Dengue fever and Barmah Forest virus are also being reported close to home. For our pets, mosquitoes are the carriers of heart worm.

Australian health experts and medical entomologists continue to warn us that these diseases are going to become much more common and are no longer just a problem in tropical regions. So, don’t be complacent in thinking that mosquitoes are merely a nuisance. The next mozzie bite you avoid might have been the one that led to far more serious consequences than just an itchy bite.

Mosquito Lifecycle

Mosquito Bite

How can I avoid getting bitten by mozzies?

When the Mozzie Team treat your garden you’re going to see a huge reduction in the number of mosquitoes around your home, but we still want you to take every precaution to avoid being bitten, seeing as mozzies increasingly carry serious disease. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and well into the evening – often the times you most want to be outside. Here are a few tips to help you avoid them:

  • The clothes you wear makes a difference. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colours, so
    light coloured clothes with long sleeves/pants give you a strong first line of defence.
  • Mosquito repellents are really important. Don’t underestimate their value! However, if you think that spraying a light mist of Aeroguard near your skin will do the trick, you’ll need to be more thorough! All the well known brands of insect repellent are good, but you must cover the areas you want protected. The best way is to apply the product generously, and then rub it in to completely cover the exposed area. Tests have shown that even if you cover yourself in repellent but leave a spot the size of a five cent coin that mosquitoes will find that spot and bite you there. The best repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Important fact: the percentage of DEET in a product doesn’t increase the way it repels insects, but increases how long it lasts on your skin.
  • If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, gardening, hiking or camping for example, you can treat your clothes with a permethrin based product designed for that purpose and it lasts for multiple washes of the clothes once treated, too. Our team members treat treat their overalls in this way.

What can I do to stop mozzies inside my home..?

Once the TickSafe Mozzie Team have treated your outdoor area for mosquitoes, there’ll be a huge reduction in mosquito numbers around your home – which also means far less will come into your home. But it’s impossible to eradicate them all despite the quality of our long lasting residual treatment and we know that even one mozzie in your bedroom at night can keep be a real nuisance, keeping you awake. So here are our tips on how to avoid mozzies in your house.

  • Installing proper insect screens throughout your house is the one thing that will help the most. The use of mosquito nets over individual beds is also a great idea. We like the ones from Ikea. Camping stores also sell a permethrin solution you can soak mozzie nets in that will make this idea super effective.
  • Small, plug in mosquito repellers that use a fluid reservoir or replaceable insect repelling pads can be extremely useful and have been recommended to us by a leading medical entomologist. There are plenty of brands available, including “Mortein’s Peaceful Nights”.
  • A simple can of flying insect spray can’t be underestimated! We like the odourless types such as “Raid Flying Insect Killer – Odourless”. You really don’t need to use very much, and it works even better if you have a fan running in the room to distribute the spray evenly. Some mosquitoes are attracted to light, so treating once the lights are off and also closing a bedroom door to stop new mosquitoes arriving will both help.

Mosquito research facility at Westmead Hospital, Sydney. Photos taken by TickSafe and The Mozzie Team at a meeting with Westmead’s medical entomology experts.