ABC Blog

How To Repel Mosquitoes

a mosquito biting someone

As the weather warms up in spring and early summer, most people want to start spending more time outdoors. But if there’s one thing that can chase even the biggest nature lover right back inside, it’s mosquitoes. These annoying, biting pests can make yard work, patio time and outdoor adventures downright miserable. If you’re wondering how to repel mosquitoes, you need to know the most effective ways to keep these pests at bay.

The thing about mosquitoes is that they aren’t just annoying. They can actually be dangerous for both people and pets. Mosquitoes are known to carry diseases that they can transfer to humans when they bite us. Some of these diseases can make us very ill, including viruses like malaria, Zika and dengue.

And, mosquitoes bite dogs too! Dogs can contract heartworm from a bite from an infected mosquito. Excessive mosquito bites can also cause allergic reactions and hives in … Read Full Post »

Why Are There Mosquitoes in My House?

“Why are there mosquitoes in my house?” This is a common question many people ask pest control professionals. Having mosquitoes outdoors is bad enough. Their itchy bites can turn yard work or hanging out on the patio into a miserable experience. But getting mosquito bites inside the house, where you’re supposed to be safe, is even worse. How do they get in, and why do they stay?

Mosquitoes get into the house the same way as any pest: through open doors and windows. They also sneak in through rips in screens or gaps around exterior doors and windows. Mosquitoes are not very strong fliers, so they might seek shelter from the wind inside your home. They are also attracted to standing water since they need water to breed. If they can find a good place to breed indoors, they can become an annoying ongoing problem.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and … Read Full Post »

No See Ums Versus Mosquitoes

Summertime is a great time to gather with friends and family outdoors. Your backyard is the perfect place to host a hangout, whether you are planning a cookout, a bonfire or a poolside party.

Homeowners know that time spent enjoying your backyard often comes at the price of annoying bug bites. These pests can range from simply frustrating to potentially dangerous. Mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases like Zika or the West Nile virus.

Yet not all bug bites are from mosquitoes. Many other bugs bother humans or even snack on our blood. While you are likely prepared to deal with mosquitoes, you may not know about other biting insects.

Biting midges are a concern for homeowners across the United States. You may know these tiny pests by their more popular name, no see ums. This nickname refers to how small these bugs are and how difficult it can be to stop them before they … Read Full Post »

Does Fire Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Fending off mosquitoes is a ritual of both spring and summer—sometimes year-round depending on the weather and location. People try just about everything to keep these pesky, annoying little pests away, from sprays to candles to home remedies. Some people even try to eat certain foods to keep mosquitoes away. None of these options are particularly effective, however.

Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance. They can also carry a variety of diseases, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue and malaria. These aren’t things you want to mess around with!

Many people believe that mosquitoes only come out and bite at night, but that isn’t the case. Though it is true that the variety that carries the West Nile virus is more active from dusk until dawn, other types keep a different schedule. During the day, in shaded areas, you can find active mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus and chikungunya. … Read Full Post »

I Have Tiny Black Mosquitoes in My House

a tiny black mosquito biting someone

If you spend any amount of time at all outside, you are going to encounter mosquitoes. That is just a fact of life. However you might be wondering why you are suddenly seeing a smaller version flying around inside your house. These tiny bugs are mosquitoes, but not necessarily the types that you might recognize.

Typically, you will find Southern house mosquitoes, which are light brown. Smaller varieties are not native to the United States and have distinctive differences from their native cousins. And be warned: These types of mosquitoes, collectively known as Aedes mosquitoes, love to snack on humans.

And these bugs can bring more problems that a little sting on the skin. The Aedes varieties also carry viruses such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya and more.

This grouping of mosquitoes lays its eggs in any water source, which is why they are called “container breeders.” Even a quarter-inch of water is enough … Read Full Post »

Identifying Chigger Bites Versus Mosquito Bites

You are outside, and something feels not quite right on your skin. You start scratching. And scratching. It could be a mosquito bite, or it could be a nip from a chigger. But how can you tell which is which? Bug bites overall look similar, and everyone reacts to them differently. That means it can be tough to know what is in your home or yard, waiting to strike. Here is a quick look at some ways you might differentiate the two.

Chigger Bites

You will generally find chiggers down low: wild plants, gardens, woods or brush, grass fields, shrubbery and lawns that are manicured and cut short. You more than likely won’t actually see them, however. These bugs, also known as berry bugs or harvest mites, are red mites that are so small that they are almost invisible with normal sight. There are more than 50 types of chiggers that feed … Read Full Post »

Are There Any Foods That Repel Mosquitoes?

a mosquito biting someone

Many people have heard there are certain foods that repel mosquitoes. The idea is that if you eat lots of these foods, your body will give off a scent that naturally repels mosquitoes. But is there any truth to this claim? Unfortunately, there is no solid scientific evidence to back up this theory.

On the bright side, adding healthful foods to your diet is never a bad idea. The foods that most people claim will repel mosquitoes include garlic, onions, beans, lentils, tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. These are overall nourishing foods that can have a very healthy place in many people’s diets.

Furthermore, there are several types of foods that some say will draw more mosquitoes to you. These include beer, salty foods and sugary foods—all types of foods that many of us would benefit from reducing in our diets. If cutting down on these foods also helps keep mosquitoes away, … Read Full Post »

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me So Much?

a mosquito biting someone

From their uncanny ability to avoid a swat to the itchy welt they leave behind, these blood-sucking pests are a huge nuisance. Mosquitoes bite humans and other animals because they need the proteins in our blood in order to reproduce. When they bite us, they inject a small amount of saliva, which numbs the area and keeps the blood from coagulating.

It’s not the mosquito’s bite itself, but the chemicals in this injection of saliva that cause our reaction. Mosquito bites are, in themselves, plenty annoying. Unfortunately, these little flying vampires can also carry and transmit serious diseases like:

  • Malaria
  • Encephalitis
  • West Nile virus
  • Yellow fever
  • Dengue fever
  • Zika virus

Even with mosquito bites that don’t carry these diseases, people with less robust immune systems, especially in children, the elderly and those with immune system disorders, can develop additional symptoms such as:

  • Hives
  • Low-grade fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Swelling and blisters
  • Allergies or asthma-like reactions

We all have to deal with mosquito bites from … Read Full Post »

How Do Mosquitoes Survive Winter?

a group of mosquitoes flying around in the spring

Sometimes, it seems like mosquitoes can live forever and are indestructible. It’s easy to think that way when they are buzzing about in the spring, summer and early fall, snacking on people and pets at will. However, the pesky pests actually do have a finite life and don’t thrive in certain conditions.

Mosquitoes are insects, and insects are cold-blooded, meaning they cannot regulate their body temperature. That means they take their warmth from their surroundings, and they do not do well as the mercury drops.

They live their best life when air temperatures are around 80 degrees, so they are active all year in tropical climates. In areas where there is more of a change in temperatures throughout the year, mosquitoes struggle. At 60 degrees, the insects start to become lethargic, and at 50 degrees, they can’t function. However, mosquitoes don’t just die when the air turns bitter cold.

Mosquito Survival Tactics

When low … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Smell Blood?

a mosquito on a pair of jeans

Being a homeowner is overwhelming. There are so many details to keep up with—both inside and outside of your house. After a long day of household chores, the last thing you want is to deal with pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are both annoying and dangerous. You deserve time to enjoy outdoor relaxation without the threat of itchy bites. Even worse, you do not want to expose yourself or your family to diseases like Zika or the West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes are a common problem for homeowners across the United States. Are you a homeowner who has been dealing with a mosquito problem in your yard? You may be wondering what is attracting these pests to your home and to your skin.

It’s common to hear that mosquitoes can smell the “sweetness” of human blood, but is this idea actually true? In reality, mosquitoes zero in on the smell of your sweat, not your blood.

It … Read Full Post »