Mosquitoes are Coming, Time to Break Out Your Mosquito Trap There are over 2500 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world, and 150 species live in the United States. Even though they can’t actually see you until they are 30 feet away, mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide you exhale and the lactic acid in your perspiration and they detect movement by infra-red radiation, meaning mosquitoes can find you from up to 120 feet away! And while mosquitoes are usually just an annoyance, they can carry diseases like malaria and West Nile Virus that are deadly to humans. Typically, most mosquitoes live and feed within 300 feet from where they breed (swamp mosquitoes are an exception) and the others are blown in from neighboring areas by the wind. Mosquitoes only need standing water to complete their life cycle from larva to adult and it’s easy enough to knock over pots or buckets in your backyard that fill after each rainfall, but what about homeowners that live near lakes or swamps?They can’t really empty the lake to prevent mosquitoes from hatching. Just one mosquito can produce 1,200 young! This means it’s important to kill adult mosquitoes before the females have the chance to lay eggs(which can survive for up to 5 years!). In order to protect your family from mosquitoes, a mosquito trap is just the thing! Some mosquito traps work by burning propane, creating carbon dioxide, warmth, and water vapor. All three of these elements act as mosquito-magnets. Mosquitoes are drawn towards the propane flame, where they are then sucked into a net or holder. Once the mosquitoes are trapped they can’t escapeand eventually die. The best mosquito traps use a wide range of stimuli (scent, heat, light, etc) to attract mosquitoes since not all mosquitoes are drawn to the same thing. Mosquito traps are at their most useful when set up around the perimeter of your yard, attracting mosquitoes towards them and away from human activity nearer to the house. You never want to put mosquito traps near people (like on the patio) becausethat just draws the mosquitoes towards you! Even if the traps work well, you are still a tempting target for most mosquitoes if they had to choose. To help maximize their efficiency, it’s best to position the mosquito traps upwind between the source of the mosquitoes (like a low spot in the yard that often turns into a puddle in the rain, birdbaths or clogged rain gutters) and where people tend to gather in the yard. It’s not possible to eliminate every single mosquito. However, with a little proactive maintenance to help cut down on the amount of standing water on your property you can help minimize the amount of mosquitoes your family with have to contend with this summer. Investing in a mosquito trap for the backyard is also a great way to cut down on the number of adult mosquitoes flying around you and your family.
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