BREAKING NEWS! As we dive into the summer months filled with backyard BBQs and pool parties, we welcome back summer’s ultimate pest: the mosquito. Throughout the warm months, mosquitoes have their choice of hospitable places to relax and to enjoy a bite to eat. Unfortunately, getting mosquito populations under control is a laborious and tricky skill to master.
To help you out, our TruGreen mosquito experts went right to the source to learn about the things that mosquitoes find attractive as well as their biggest pet peeves! To get the full scoop on the top things mosquitoes hope you never learn, read our recent Q&A with a mosquito! The answers may surprise you...
1. “We Love Your Floral Scented Soaps”
TruGreen Expert: What are some of the things that you find attractive when choosing a place to set up camp?
Mosquito: Well, for starters, we are big fans of those sweet, gorgeous flowers people sometimes plant in their yards. Since the males of our species only feed on flower nectar, plant sap, honeydew and anything else containing sugars they need to survive, we naturally gravitate towards anything that smells sugary and floral.
Because of this, we love your floral scented soaps! It makes us think there are dew-filled flowers nearby that we can feed on.
2. “We Don’t Love the Smell of Lavender”
TruGreen Expert: Is this true for ALL floral scents?
Mosquito: Definitely not. While we love most floral scents, we can;t stand the smell of lavender. In fact, there are quite a few smells that we find relatively unflattering, including citronella, clove, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, geraniol, garlic and basil.
However, while these smells are highly unpleasant for us mosquitoes, your entire yard would need to be filled with lavender to really make us want to stay away.
3. “Citronella Candles Probably Won’t Work”
TruGreen Expert: Speaking of citronella, how effective are citronella candles?Mosquito: Truth be told, citronella candles probably won’t work in your efforts to keep us away. While citronella oil does repel mosquitoes to some extent, the amount produced by a single candle is simply not strong enough to repel us. You’ve got a better shot of keeping us away with bug spray than with citronella.
4. “We Love Sugary Foods”
TruGreen Expert: How does diet affect your choice of eatery?Mosquito: Diet is very important to us. As I mentioned before, sugar is an incredibly important part of our daily diet. While we prefer to obtain natural sugars from plant nectar, we also find the smell of sugary sodas and candy to be irresistible. The moral of the story is that we will come buzzing when we catch wind of your sugary foods!
5. “We Love Beer Drinkers…”
TruGreen Expert: What about alcohol? Is there anything in particular that gets you buzzing?
Mosquito: Yes, we love beer drinkers! We know there’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying an ice cold beer after a long summer day, and we are happy to partake.
The reason we like alcohol drinkers in particular is because alcohol causes your capillaries to expand, sending more blood to the surface of your skin, causing your skin to heat up. This process means more sweat, high levels of carbon dioxide and elevated lactic acid, all of which we find delicious.
We hate to be a buzzkill, but if you want us to stop biting, you may have to substitute your IPA for a non-alcoholic, sugar free beverage.
6. “A Healthy Workout Routine Will Have Us Swooning”
TruGreen Expert: So we have talked about diet, but what about exercise?
Mosquito: A healthy workout routine will have us swooning after you! Similar to drinking beer, exercise will cause blood to rise to the surface of your skin and to make you sweat.
Overall, working out means you’re probably breathing heavier and creating more carbon dioxide which, as I mentioned before, attracts us like moths to a flame. That said, if you don’t want us bugging you, consider moving your workouts indoors and showering (with non-floral scented soaps of course) before spending time outside.
7. “Covered” Does Not Mean You’re “Protected.”
TruGreen Expert: If we want to help keep you from biting us, what are some things we should avoid?
Mosquito: Considering our eyes are so small and buggy, we don’t have the best vision. However, we can easily see bold, dark colors like navy, black, grey, and red. If you are trying not to catch our eye, you may want to opt for something a bit less identifiable such as white or yellow.
Another thing to know is that “covered” does not mean you’re “protected.” Most people don’t know this about us, but we can actually bite THROUGH your clothing if it is fitted to your form. A good rule of thumb to help avoid the side effects of our itch-inducing saliva is to wear looser fitting clothes so that we can’t reach your skin easily.
8. “We Love Standing Water And Will Flock To It”
TruGreen Expert: Is there anything else we should know to avoid massive swarms of mosquitoes?
Mosquito: Yes! We use stagnant pools of water to meet, mate and lay eggs. Because of this, we love standing water and will flock to it when we see it. If you are truly committed to taking care of your mosquito infestation, you’ll need to clear out any small standing bodies of water.
In fact, we need so little water to breed that we can even use a single water bottle cap filled with water to lay eggs. This means that we can reproduce anywhere from flower pots and bird baths to ponds and puddles!
That said, while all of these things can help you to reduce your mosquito populations a bit, the most effective and easiest way to reduce mosquito populations near you is to schedule a professional treatment.
You heard it here first, straight from the mosquito’s proboscis - TruGreen can help you reduce the number of mosquitoes in as little as 24 hours. Ready to reduce the mosquito population in your outdoor living space? Learn more about our TruGreen Mosquito Defense Service®.