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Andre Hamel hamel at cc.umanitoba.ca
Sat Aug 20 09:55:25 EST 1994

Mosquitos?  :^), or should that be :^(, or :^O
Up here in "skeeter" country of the north (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada ... in
central plains ... used to be tall grass prairie ... has lush vegetation,
well treed, shaded, lots of thick lawns ... hence haven for mosquitos,
which ddon't survive long in humidity below 90% -> reason why they're
worse from dusk til dawn, when air is cooler & more moist, they can leave
their hidding places amongst grasses and venture beyond in search of
victims ... with such high mosquito counts (traps often record higher than
1400 !) hence reason for SO MANY purple marten houses, perched up on poles
throughout residential areas.

I too am a mosquitos delight!  ... arrgh ... especially on calves &
upper torso ... even fingers & edge of hand palm when all else is
covered! ... I've noticed than men seem to be more bitten than women.
Especially fit, active men. Possibly related to blood circulation
differences?  Warmer prey easier & hence more attractive (instictively
so)?  For example, at picnics with sports activities (soccer, softball),
afterwards, folks sweating and breathing rapidly, mosquitos have easier target
... whereas nearby women, less active (sitting or standing around) get far
less attention from the mosquitos.

Have many others noticed such mosquito target prefferences?

DEET ought to be used with great caution & used SPARINGLY! Especially on
young children ... oil of citronella concentrates, such as Avon's "Skin so
Soft", do seem to repel most mosquitos, except for the smaller variety,
which are far more persistent & bothersome than the larger species (we
have at least 6 different types of skeeters up here). The relative numbers of
each mosquito type varies from year to year.

Soaking cloths in DEET, then drying, has saved, at very least, my sanity
throughout summer jobs, back when undergrad.

Oil of citronella is far more tolerable than DEET, doesn't lead to sunburn
of exposed skin, and thus seems to be much safer alternative to DEET,
especially for children.

Aside from obvious of minimizing breeding grounds (standing water), but
WITHOUT spraying ones yard with chemicals, what other means can one use to
reduce mosquito numbers? Our city has experimented with Bacillus
thuringiensis spores, sprayed onto breeding grounds ... limited success
but more costly than (yuck) malathion.

We can get Bt spores at local stores ... is this viable & effective means
of reducing mosquito pop'n in ones yard?

all best,


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