Stinging Insect Pests Infographic: Know The Difference
Summer barbecues, pool parties, picnics, and other outdoor activities can be accompanied by stinging pests. Some of these stings are mild, and other can really pack a punch. Here’s an excellent infographic, brought to you by Eden Advanced Pest Technologies, informing us all on how we can distinguish among these stinging insects, and what steps to take to control and prevent them respectively.
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Thursday is the Fourth of July! It’s a time we will gather together with our families and friends; celebrating living in the world’s best country. We will commemorate our nation’s independence by waving flags at parades, cooling off in swimming pools, woofing down tons of hotdogs and potato salad at BBQ’s, and cap the day off by lighting or watching vibrant fireworks.
With all of the day’s festivities, the last thing you want to worry about is blood-sucking pests like mosquitoes and ticks. One of the best ways to keep these irritating bugs from ruining your holiday is to wear a good insect repellant when you are outdoors. With so many bug sprays on the market today, we are all left wondering which ones work the best; and which ones will simply drain our wallets and offer no relieve from flying pests.
Here are the top five best and worst mosquito repellants:
Top 5 Best Mosquito Repellants
Consumer Reports recently released their ranking for the best mosquito repellants on the market today. Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, and damage to materials. Here are the rankings:
Note: Only four of the top five mosquito repellants offered protection for eight hours or more. Non-coincidently, these four repellants also contained the active ingredient DEET in varying levels; the most effective mosquito repellant on the market.
Top 5 Worst Mosquito Repellants
GoodGuide also recently released their mosquito repellant rankings based on health, environment, and society factors. They count the number of ingredients in each product that are categorized as low, medium or high health concern; and then factor in other negative information (such as regulatory restrictions) and any available positive information (such as third-party certifications) to assign product scores. Here are the five worst mosquito products as determined by GoodGuide:
Note: It’s important to note that all of the tested products will keep the mosquitoes from biting if you’re going to be outside for only a short period of time. Look for a highly rated product to protect you on longer excursions.
How Mosquito Repellants Were Tested
For these insect repellent reviews, courageous testers at an outside lab bared their arms in mosquito-filled cages and also let ticks crawl on them. Scientists recorded how long it took for mosquitoes to start biting and for ticks to crawl over treated areas.
Factors used to determine the mosquito repellant rankings include: cost per ounce, percentage of active ingredient (DEET) hours of effectiveness, damage to materials, and the health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies.
Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus
There are currently some 176 different species of mosquitoes living here in the United States; all sharing one common characteristicâ€¦ They are irritating! One common misconception about mosquitoes is that they all bite and suck blood. The truth is, it’s only the adult female mosquitoes that have a long piercing mouthpart needed to suck blood. She does so in order to provide for her future brood of mosquitoes. Males differ from females by having feathery antennae and mouthparts not suitable for piercing skin. A mosquito’s principal food is nectar or similar sugar source.
One unfortunate characteristic about the mosquito is that they can carry the deadly West Nile Virus. The Center for Disease Control urges the public to take precautions when outdoors. Make sure you wear an insect repellent with DEET; dress in clothing that covers as much skin as possible, and completely avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn if at all possible.
To stop mosquitoes from breeding on your property, make sure to eliminate any standing water like in puddles, in kiddie pools, in tire swings, and in bird fountains. The easiest way to remove mosquitoes on your property is to kill their larva. Mosquito dunks, or larvicides, are dropped into water killing larva and stopping mosquitoes from laying their eggs. Treatments last for 30 days and cover 100 square feet regardless of depth. Pest control professionals can also spray your property frequently to help control the mosquito population.
BBQ season is just around the corner, if not in full swing for some families. With hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, and watermelon on the table, it is no wonder that mosquitoes want to be a part of the party. Let your guests enjoy their meal pest free and rid your yard of mosquitoes with these easy techniques that will prove to be a lifesaver. There are many things to briefly eliminate mosquitos such as bug spray and zappers but in order to reduce mosquitos for the entire season, you will probably want to take more drastic measures.
Reduce Their Breeding Ground
Reduce the amount of mosquitoes that attend your summer Barbeques by getting rid of their breeding groundsâ€”stagnant water! After heavy rainfall, backyard accessories such as bird baths can fill up with water, attracting the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Once you notice water building up in your backyard accessories, empty them immediately in order to alleviate the problem. If your home has a pond, there are solutions you can mix in with the water which will help reduce mosquito breeding that can be found at home improvement centers.
Citronella candles are coming back in a big way. Not only are they sold in cute designer inspired containers but they also don’t smell terribly. In fact, a lot of the citronella aroma is covered up by other scents such as vanilla, berry, or coconut. However, don’t let the smell fool you because it will still keep the mosquitos away.
Lemongrass is a natural mosquito repellent and can be disguised in your garden by other plants. The citronella oil in the plant will keep mosquitoes out of your garden and away from your BBQ. Lemongrass requires a large amount of sunshine and can be planted virtually anywhere in your yard.
Rosemary’s double duties prove to be tasty in BBQ recipes and can be used as a form of bug repellent. Much like lemongrass, rosemary is a great natural mosquito repellent that can be planted in large pots and placed close to where guests sit.
Michael David is a freelance journalist and blogger living in New York City. Michael has a large amount of experience that spans from working for Long Island exterminator to freelance writing.
If a regular mosquito was a smart car, than the gallinipper would be a Mack truck.
It’s the goliath of all mosquitoes. A biting bug that is so terrifying that it has emptied entire schoolyards of screaming children.
They are called gallinippers because it is believed they can nip a gallon of your blood. The worst part is that they are expected to invade South Florida in big numbers this mosquito season.
What Is A Gallinipper?
We are headed to rainy season, and we all know that that means mosquitoes; and the largest blood sucking mosquito in the U.S. is the â€˜Shaggy-Legged’ Gallinipper. The gallinipper, properly known as Psorophora ciliata, is easy to identify by its large size and the zebra-like pattern it has on it’s hairy legs.
Gallinippers favor cool shady areas with lots of standing water. These mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the soil, where they can remain dormant for several years before a heavy rain finally releases them. Adult gallinippers can fly upwards of two miles in search of a blood meal. Only female gallinippers bite, feeding on human or animal blood. They are also known to go after pets, wild animals and even fish. The voracious pests feed day and night–unlike everyday mosquitoes, which generally feed only at dawn and dusk.
The Gallinipper’s Bite
The most notorious characteristic of the gallinipper is it’s extremely painful bite. When it bites you, you know it! One bite victim likens a bite to that of a tiny drill; another victim referred to a gallinipper bite as a stabbing knife. The gallinipper’s bite is strong enough to bite through clothing. Since the mosquito is so big, you’ll likely feel the gallinipper land on you before it is able to pierce your skin with it’s massive proboscis.
The mosquito got it’s name because of the amount of blood it can drink at any one time–gallinipper because it can nip a gallon of blood. The truth is gallinippers drink nowhere near a gallon of blood at one time. A victim would have to be attacked multiple times, by a huge swarm of gallinippers, before you would lose a gallon of blood.
How Big Is The Gallinipper?
The gallinipper is twenty times bigger then the average mosquito; about the size of a quarter.
Palm Beach County Mosquito Control expert Gary Goode says â€œit really lets you know when it lands on youâ€¦ It practically breaks your arm. It’s almost impossible for the gallinipper to sneak up on you.
Gallinippers Invading Florida
Every summer, depending on the rainfall, the Sunshine state braces for the swarms of mosquitoes that plague the stateâ€¦ including the gallinipper. The mosquito’s eggs that were laid last year could produce a bumper crop of the blood-sucking bugs this summer if Florida sees a soggy rainy season.
When the live gallinippers swarm, the phones start ringing off the hook at Palm Beach County Mosquito Control.
The gallinipper is found in the western most; flood prone, parts of Palm Beach County during the rainy season.
The Bad News About The Gallinipper
â€¢ Are huge and intimidatingâ€”20x larger than regular mosquito
â€¢ Feed on human and animal blood
â€¢ Painful bites
â€¢ Frequently emerge after rainâ€”which Florida gets a lot of
â€¢ Mosquito repellent does little to ward off the gallinipper, mostly because you’d have to use an entire can of DEET bases repellent before the massive mosquito would ever notice it.
The Good News About The Gallinipper
â€¢ Don’t occur in great numbers in Central or South Florida
â€¢ Because of it’s size, it’s almost impossible for the gallinipper to sneak up on you
â€¢ Are not known to spread diseases like West Nile Virus
â€¢ Lifespan is only about a week
â€¢ Eat the larvae of their smaller mosquito cousins
The reports by the local media have made it sound like swarms of gallinippers are attacking Florida residents, drinking gallons of blood, slaughtering people by the thousands. These reports sound like something out of a made for TV movie on the Syfy Channel.
Gallinippers do exist. They have painful bites. Florida residents might see one or two this rainy season. Like all other mosquitoes, they do require a consistent pest control strategy to control their populations.
The real truth is that gallinippers will not break your arm when they land on you, and they won’t drink a gallon of your blood. The term “gallinipper” isn’t recognized by most entomologists, but over the past century, the word â€” and the insect â€” entered popular legend through Southern folktales, minstrel shows and blues songs, according to a report from the University of Florida.