by Kelly Moad
Many know that the Texas State Bird is the Mockingbird...or is it the Mosquito? It's hard to tell sometimes, even at the beach. We all love the beach, and mosquitoes do too. Water is a necessary part of the mosquito's habitat, and the Peninsula has plenty of water spots for a mosquito family to call home! So how do we protect against them while we're trying to have a beachy time? Here are a few tips and tricks. First of all, they need water, so eliminate any standing water, if possible. Keep your lawn cut and your weeds trimmed so they have limited spaces to nestle.
Only female mosquitoes require a blood meal and bite, so only allow males to visit and inhabit your surroundings. Some species have naturally adapted to go through their entire life cycle in as little as four days or as long as one month, so smack 'em fast, lower that lifespan. And although purple martins are notorious for savoring mosquitoes, the number they actually digest is insignificant in helping control the population, so don't count on them to reduce the threat. Finally, apply pesticides to control larvae and adult mosquitoes.
A few other studies show the following quirky results, avoid if possible. Mosquitoes are more attracted to women than men because of the difference in hormones produced, they prefer dark clothing, although they like blondes over brunettes. Smelly feet are an attractant, and Limburger cheese. And a full moon increased mosquito activity by 500%. Wow!
My dad claims they can't fly very high, so we're "safe on the deck". And it seems to help when there's a breeze, although you can't always guarantee wind. They are certainly most active during dawn and dusk.
If all else fails, Run. Mosquitoes only fly 1 to 1.5 miles an hour. But then again, active and fidgety people produce more carbon dioxide, which is the most universally recognized mosquito attractant - Great! It's hard to avoid CO2...so, you're outta luck. DEET remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged. Stock up!
Galveston County Mosquito Control
American Mosquito Control Association
Mosquito - Wikipedia
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