Mosquito is spanish for "little fly" both of which are nasty little buggers in any language. Despite their fragile appearance, mosquitoes are aggravating pests of humans and other animals. Bites from mosquitoes can cause severe discomfort. The resulting intense itching is due to an immune response to mosquito saliva injected into the bite wound. In addition to the itchy reaction of the bite they are down right annoying.
The real danger, however, is that mosquitoes may carry disease organisms. Mosquitoes can transmit disease-causing viruses and protozoans. The most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States are caused by viral pathogens and include West Nile fever, eastern equine encephalomyelitis, St. Louis encephalitis, western equine encephalomyelitis, La Crosse encephalitis and canine heartworm.
• only the female bites to obtain a blood meal. The male feeds on plant juices
• only the female makes a buzzing sound the male is silent
• all mosquitoes must have water in which to complete their breeding and life cycle
Contrary to popular belief, bug zappers do little in controlling adult mosquitoes. Studies have shown that far more beneficial insects are killed by bug zappers than are pest species. There is evidence from backyard studies that electric bug zappers increased the number of female mosquitoes present in the yards as opposed to yards without the devices, and were not at all effective in lowering the number of female (females are the ones that do the biting) mosquitoes landing on people. Similar results were found with electronic mosquito repellers. Persons using the devices recovered more female mosquitoes landing on them when compared to those not using them. The repellers did not afford any protection against bites.
Recipe for Homemade Fly and Mosquito Spray
In a standard 1 quart or 1 liter spray bottle, mix the following ingredients:
2 cups or 400-ml Avon Skin-So-Soft
2 cups or 400ml of purified water
1/2 cup or 150-ml raw apple cider vinegar
Shake well before each use. Use as needed.
Most horses and dogs tolerate the ingredients in this formula very well, and it can be used by riders and owners as well to ward off flies and mosquitos.
Another safe and natural alternative to toxic commercial insecticides is a dietary one. Some horses and dogs attract fewer flies and mosquitos when they are fed cider vinegar because the vinegar makes their skin less desirable to insects. Feeding cider vinegar not only changes the pH of the top layer of the skin, it also changes the pH on a deeper level. While effective, this method is slow and should be started a couple of months before fly season to take effect.
Not all horses or dogs like cider vinegar added to their feed at first, but if introduced in very small amounts they often learn to accept it. On average a 1,000 pound (about 450 kgs) horse will need about one cup of 'raw apple cider vinegar' daily to help to repel flies. Dogs would require 1 or two teaspoons added to their water bowl. Note: Do Not Give vinegar straight or undiluted!
To learn about all the natural treatments and healing strategies for pets, be sure to visit Pet Remedy Charts, the ultimate guide to using herbs, homeopathy, flower remedies and acupressure for dogs, cats, horses and birds. Developed to enable anyone to confidently treat their companion animal naturally at home.