Nothing kills the excitement of the start of summer faster than a tiny winged critter hell-bent on making your life miserable. They remain almost invisible to the naked eye until you are about to curl up in your cosy bed for the night, and then they burst out the shadows with that infuriating whining sound which is enough to make grown men cry. Yes, we’re talking about mosquitoes! However, we bring with us good news; a practical and workable solution to deter mozzies. (Hint: It has to do with your room temperature.)
How Can I Deter Mosquitoes?
If you do any research at all on preventing mozzie bites, you will find advice that centres around chemical warfare in the form of bug sprays, perhaps ideas on mosquito nets, as well as adjusting your physiology.
Bug sprays are a highly efficient mechanism to kill all insects (and often fish too – bizarrely). But, there is still a big question mark as to its long-term effect on us humans, and the active ingredient in the toxic concoction can last up to a year in our homes. While this is by no means a medical article, one does have to ask the question why there are quite so many chronic illnesses of “unknown origin” plaguing us 21st Century people; are we doing this to ourselves?
Having grown up with the ubiquitous mozzie net here in South Africa, we can certainly vouch for their efficacy. However, getting up and out of bed in a hurry can prove tricky, and maintaining a no-holes policy on this gauzy fabric is a challenge all its own. Still, a good option once you’re settled under the covers.
Diet and Physiology
As if pregnant women didn’t have enough to cope with! A pregnant lady is a favourite target for mozzies, what with their increased blood volume and hyped up metabolism. Sadly, alcohol has been shown to make us more attractive to these thirsty insects as well as ‘O’ blood types. Go figure!
Room Temperature Control with an AC Unit
The real trick to knowing how to avoid the vicious bite of a mosquito starts with understanding its MO. Minus GPS, these little winged bullies rely on following the trail of carbon dioxide to find their next victim. Once they are close enough, they switch to heat sensors and their surprisingly acute vision. And this is where our air-conditioning unit really comes into its own.
We usually close the doors to keep the cool air in – which also keeps the mozzies out. Check one. Cold, dry air is a distinct turn-off for mosquitoes who prefer warm, damp conditions. Great news! An AC unit circulates the air around the room which achieves two important things: Firstly, the moving air inhibits the ability of flying insects to fly in a straight line and hit their target. Secondly, it dilutes the concentration of carbon dioxide that we disseminate through our skins and when we exhale, making us more difficult to locate. The cold air also cools our bodies down which also makes it tricky for the little suckers to pinpoint us.
True, we don’t spend all day indoors wrapped in the cool embrace of our air-conditioner, but we can take further preventative measures to make ourselves a less likely target for mosquitoes.
Sensible Mozzie Deterrent Tips
Water collects where it can, be it in the pot plant drip tray or the little pond outside. And where there is standing water, there will be mozzies. Try to keep all outdoor furniture, dishes or tools upside-down so they don’t store rainwater. Keep your gutters free of debris and your driveway clear of leaves where water can collect.
Plant hardy herbs around the outside of your home, especially near to windows and doorways. Lavender, marigolds, citronella grass, rosemary and basil are all effective insect deterrents and bring with them subtly beautiful scents to enhance our homes.
And of course, invest in a world-class Toshiba air-conditioning unit for your home.
We may not be able to assist you with your choice of plants, but we can offer you a good night’s rest beneath a quiet, efficient AC unit with the perfect room temperature. Call us today.