Barberton - Norton
Mosquito Abatement District

“Keeping a Safe Environment”
131 Snyder Avenue
Barberton OH 44203
Ph (330) 848-2623




                       Please Keep Watching For Updated Information!





For more information:


email : or phone 330-848-2623

The BNMAD field techs have been busy by larvicing and barrier spraying since late April. With the cool wet weather we have not found much activity. We are using barrier type spraying much more this year to help cut down the adult mosquito population in areas that are known to be problem areas with mosquitoes. The BNMAD purchased a new barrier sprayer this spring and Stewart Pest Control crews are doing a great job treating these areas.

With the weather being what it is, we have not released a set spraying schedule at this time. When mosquito activity picks up we will then start our spraying when and where needed. We do not like to spray unless absolutly necessary. It is the last resort we use. We keep the mosquito population down, first, by educating the public what the residents can do to help. Things such as making sure there is no standing water on their properties. Making sure there are no containers that hold water and that grass clippings and leaf piles are not present. These are major areas that mosquitoes breed. We also larvicide areas that we find larvae. This is how we prevent them from becoming adults.

We started trapping on 05.21.2014. We certainly do not expect to find very many at this time, but we don't want them sneaking up on our program. These are the mosquitoes we count, identify and test for diseases such as West Nile Virus and various types of encephalitis.

Also, be sure and call for special treatment of an area where you may hosting a graduation party or any type of gathereing. There is no charge for this special service. We do limit this to one special treatment per season per property. We do like to have approximately a one week notice to be able to schedule your event.

Congratulation to the Graduates out there in our district! Have a safe summer and good luck in your future!












The BNMAD Board of Directors Meeting Has Been CANCELED for July 17, 2014. Check back for the next meeting date - - -


Meetings are held at 131 Snyder Ave. Barberton, Ohio at 6:00 PM



2014 Spray Schedule




May 29

June 12

June 26

July 10

July 24

August 07

August 21

September 04

September 18




June 05

June 19

July 03

July 17

July 31

August 14

August 28

September 11

September 25




Spraying will be conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and proposed EPA regulations, specifically when:

Weather is absent of rain

Winds are less than 10 mph

Temperature is 55* or above





                       If unable to spray on the scheduled date, makeup spray will be on the following Monday if weather permits









A Mosquito Abatement District
By the People, For the People
Barberton, Ohio, sits between the Tuscarawas River and the Ohio & Erie Canal. It’s been
prone to flooding since its founding, and the pools of water left behind by the floods
mean mosquitos have always been a nuisance in the area.
When West Nile Virus (WNV) first appeared in the late 1990s, the state began a
surveillance program. In 2001, Ohio reported zero cases of the virus. In 2002, they
reported 441. Only two states, Illinois and Michigan, were hit harder.
Two years later, with new cases popping up all over the state, the cash-strapped county
voted to end all spraying programs except in the event of an emergency. Concerned
residents took to the streets to change that. “We took it upon ourselves to go out and get a
petition to see if the people wanted it. They said they did, and we got rolling in 2005,” says
Russ Shilling, now the Barberton-Norton Mosquito Abatement District (BNMAD)’s manager.
2012 was the worst year on record for WNV. 104 cases were reported in Ohio. Not a single
one of them was in Barberton-Norton’s district.
The BNMAD relies on Masterline Kontrol 4-4 for their adulticiding. “It’s got a quick knockdown,
it’s safe, and I like the price,” Shilling says. “I wouldn’t touch it if it didn’t do the job.”
With the money they’ve saved, BNMAD has been able to buy new equipment, and offer
their customers special amenities like a free yard spray program, which county residents
can request once a year. “I always tell them it depends on the weather,” Shilling says.
“If it looks like rain, Friday, we’ll be out there Thursday.”


Do bats serve as an effective mosquito control?
Recently the public has shown increased interest in the value of insectivorous species of bats in controlling mosquitoes. Although untested lately, this is not a new idea. During the 1920's several bat towers were constructed near San Antonio, Texas, in order to help control malarial mosquitoes. Mosquito populations were not affected and the project was discontinued. Bats in temperate areas of the world are almost exclusively insectivorous. Food items identified in their diet are primarily beetles, wasps, and moths. Mosquitoes have comprised less than 1% of gut contents of wild caught bats in all studies to date. Bats tend to be opportunistic feeders. They do not appear to specialize on particular types of insects, but will feed on whatever food source presents itself. Large, concentrated populations of mosquitoes could provide adequate nutrition in the absence of alternative food. However, a moth provides much more nutritional value per capture than a mosquito. M.D. Tuttle, a world authority on bats, is often quoted for his anecdotal report that bats effectively controlled mosquito populations at a popular resort in New York State. While there is no doubt that bats have probably played a visible, if not prominent, role in reducing the mosquito problems in many areas, the natural abatement of mosquito populations is an extremely complex process to study, comprising poorly known ecological relationships. Tuttle attempts to underscore the bats role by citing an experiment in which bats released into a laboratory room filled with mosquitoes caught up to 10 mosquitoes per minute. He extrapolated this value to 600 mosquitoes per hour. Thus, a colony of 500 bats could consume over a quarter of a million mosquitoes per hour. Impressive numbers indeed, but singularly unrealistic when based upon a study where bats were confined in a room with mosquitoes as their only food source. There is no question that bats eat mosquitoes, but to utilize them as the sole measure of control would be folly indeed, particularly considering the capacity of both mosquitoes and bats to transmit diseases.

Do Purple Martins help reduce mosquitoes?
It has been known for many years that bird species like purple martins consume large numbers of flying insects. Proponents of their use in mosquito control are quick to cite J. L. Wade, an amateur ornithologist, who reasoned that an average 4 oz. adult purple martin, due to its rapid metabolism, would have to consume its body weight (14,000 mosquitoes) per day in order to survive. Wade recognized that the purple martins diet includes many other types of insects, but this appears to have been lost on many individuals searching for a natural means of control. In fact, during daylight, purple martins often feed voraciously upon dragonflies, known predators of mosquitoes. At night, when mosquitoes are most active, purple martins tend to feed at treetop level, well above most mosquito flight paths. Ornithologist James Hill, founder of the Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA), writes, "The number of mosquitoes that martins eat is extremely insignificant, and they certainly don't control them. In-depth studies have shown that mosquitoes comprise no more than 0 to 3 percent of the diet of martins". They eat only flying insects, which they catch in flight. Their diet is diverse, including dragonflies, damselflies, flies, midges, mayflies, stinkbugs, leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, June bugs, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, cicadas, bees, wasps, flying ants, and ballooning spiders. Martins are not, however, prodigious consumers of mosquitoes as is so often claimed by companies that manufacture martin housing. An intensive 3-year diet study conducted at PMCA headquarters in Edinboro, PA, failed to find a single mosquito among the 350 diet samples collected from parent martins bringing beakfuls of insects to their young. The samples were collected from martins during all hours of the day, all season long, and in numerous habitats, including mosquito-infested ones. Purple Martins and freshwater mosquitoes rarely ever cross paths. Martins are daytime feeders, and feed high in the sky; mosquitoes, on the other hand, stay low in damp places during daylight hours, or only come out at night. Since Purple Martins feed only on flying insects, they are extremely vulnerable to starvation during extended periods of cool and/or rainy weather. Rather than erecting martin houses to specifically attract insect-eating birds for mosquito control, we should at least promote them for their aesthetic and educational value.



The State of Ohio  has the funding restored and is now testing for the diseases that the mosquitoes carry!

Thanks to all who helped achieve getting the program up and running after a years absence!!!





July 30 (Reuters) - Cases of chikungunya virus, a painful, mosquito-borne disease that has spread rapidly through the Caribbean in recent months, spiked higher in New York and New Jersey in the past week, according to new federal data. The number of cases in New Jersey more than doubled to 25, while New York has recorded 44 cases, the highest number outside Florida, where the disease first established a toehold in the United States, according to data released late Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials in New Jersey and New York do not believe any of the cases originated in their state. Symptoms, which develop three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, include high fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. In rare cases it is fatal. Small children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC said the United States averaged 28 cases of chikungunya each year since 2006 but until recently all have been travel related. Three people in Florida contracted the disease from local mosquitoes this month in what the CDC said are the first cases of the disease to originate in the United States. The CDC said it has seen 601 cases this year in the 37 states and two territories. Puerto Rico has reported 215 cases, 199 contracted locally, the CDC said. New Jersey regularly tests mosquitoes for another disease, West Nile Virus and this year, health officials have begun testing traps for chikungunya. Chikungunya, a virus more commonly found in Africa and Asia and transmitted by the same daytime-biting aedes aegypti mosquito that causes the more deadly dengue fever, was first detected in the eastern Caribbean seven months ago. (Reporting by Daniel Kelley in Philadelphia; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Trott)

The BNMAD has been on alert for this disease in our area. It is carried and spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which are black and white in color. They are one of the many mosquitoes in our area but that certainly does not mean they have the disease. The BNMAD traps thousands of mosquitoes every week and we identify and send for testing for many diseases. If any disease is found in our district, we target that area by increasing survelliance, larviciding and adulticiding.












Operations Manager

Russ Shilling


Brian Griffith


Jill Easterling

Board of Directors
 Michael Safron; President - - - (Rep - Norton)
John Baker - - - (Rep - Barberton)
Karen Lyn Miller - - - (Rep - Norton)
Kimberly Trenary - - - (Rep - Barberton)
Robert Webb - - - (Rep - Norton)

District Advisory Council

Brian Nelson (Summit County Rep)
Charlotte Whipkey (Norton Council member) 
Carol Frey (Barberton Council Member)

Board of Appraisers

Harry Ciccolini

Dale Sungy

James Hrubik

About the Mosquito Abatement District and Updated Information


Your Mosquito Abatement District wants you to be safe from mosquito-borne viruses, and we want you to enjoy being outside with your family. Imagine fewer mosquitos in your yard. You can prepare a picnic, play cards by moonlight, even sit on your front porch without the hassle of mosquitoes.

The Mosquito Abatement District was formed under section 6115.05 of the Ohio Revised Code that was established to reduce the population of biting arthropods and to abate their breeding places.


                         ------------------ Current & Upcoming News and Events ------------------








                      Fun Facts: (OK, there is nothing fun about mosquitoes, but read on)

                               -------------FUN FACTS FOR JUNE ----------------

Dark Colored Clothing Clothing that does not reflect much light is usually more attractive than more reflective clothing. In practical terms, black or dark-hued clothing of any color is often more attractive to many types of nuisance mosquitoes than light (white, khaki, green, or yellow) clothing. Several studies indicate that mosquitoes belonging to the genera Aedes or Ochlerotatus prefer dark colors over light colors. These studies will be summarized below. Caution should be exercised in assuming these results apply to other genera, especially Anopheles, for which there is limited data suggesting that lighter colors (yellow and white) may be preferred (Ko, 1925). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrett (1938), Brown (1951, 1954, 1955) and Gjullin (1947) established color preference in some mosquitoes by exposing them to different colored cloths, either as clothing on human volunteers, stretched over a box which enclosed a human hand, or in studies using temperature controlled robots. The general order of preference was black (most attractive); red (very attractive); blue (attractive to neutral), green, yellow, and white (less attractive).

 --Fun Facts for April and May --

Many people are killed by different species of animals every year. Read the list below, and, the most deadly one just may surprise you!!!

Shark - 10

Wolf - 10

Lion - 100

Elephant - 100

Hippopotamus - 500

Crocodile - 1,000

Tapeworm - 2,000

Ascaris Roundworm - 2,500

Freshwater Snail (schistosomiasis) 10,000

Tsetse Fly (Sleeping Sickness) 10,000

Dog (Rabies) - 25,000

Snakes - 50,000

Humans - 475,000

And #1 is - - - -- - The MOSQUITO - which kills on average 725,000 humans a year

Also, not only do they kill but they debilitate MILLIONS of people a year. Some of the diseases they transmit are malaria, dengue fever virus, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, Lymphatic filariasis, St. Louis encephalitis, LaCross encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis.



--Fun Facts for March—


As snow will be melting and temperatures rising, March is a great time to start looking at your properties to see what you, as a land owner, can do to help reduce the amount of mosquitoes that will be coming our way. Look for any low lying areas where water does not drain well. Also look for tree holes, buckets, toys, cans and anything that will hold water for more than a couple of days. What is listed is where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs. If you can make sure there are no sites to hold water, it will help to reduce the chance of high numbers of adult mosquitoes being able to bite and spread diseases. Find a bucket, can or a toy holding water, please dump it and remove from the area. Same goes for tires. Tires are a huge problem when it comes to breeding mosquitos.





Fun Fact for February!

Adult Males and Females
Female mosquitoes are usually larger than males. Females have fine threadlike antennae with few hairs, whereas males have bushy antennae.

Immatures (different stages)
Mosquitoes are holometabolous insects and therefore grow through an egg, larva, pupa to adult stage. The larvae and pupae are aquatic, the adults are free flying. At 80° F the larva goes through four larval instars in about 4 days before pupating. The pupa takes three days before the adult emerges. Adult females live several weeks if given a source of sugar. Males usually live less than a week.

Natural History

Larvae eat many things. They graze over rocks and plant material removing growing algae and bacteria. They will filter feed from polluted water, but the water in which they live must never be allowed to develop a scum as they must be able to contact the air through the siphon at the end of the abdomen. Both male and female adults feed on nectar. Females also feed on blood which is needed to produce eggs. Some species can produce eggs without a blood meal. Males do not feed on blood.

Larvae and pupae live in water, usually still water. They do not survive well in rushing streams or badly polluted water. Adults hide in vegetation near water or in cool, damp places. Many species fly in search of blood meals in the evening.

Many fish and predatory aquatic insects eat larvae and pupae. Bats, birds and spiders eat flying adults.

Interesting Behaviors
Watching the feeding behavior of larvae is instructive. Larvae are such effective filter feeders that they can clean polluted water. Adult females respond to cues produced by warm-blooded animals.





Fun Fact for January!


Impact on the Ecosystem

Mosquito larvae are important food for fish and other predatory aquatic animals. Adult mosquitoes are also important food for birds, bats and other arthropods, including dragonflies and spiders.

Mosquitoes transmit pathogens that cause some of the worst diseases known, including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis. However, mosquitoes only transmit the pathogens. In most cases, they must feed on someone with the disease to be able to transmit it to another person. Adult mosquitoes reared from larvae collected from ponds seldom carry pathogens. Do not let field caught mosquitoes feed on your hand.






When we tell stories, we incorporate the things around us into tales of how things came about and more.  Consequently, there are a number of stories from around the world that show us how peoples at different times in history have thought about the mosquito.

A Tuscarora legend recounts the tale of the origins of mosquitoes as well.  In this legend, the mosquito is a giant, so large he blocks out the sun from the sky.  He would eat one or two people at a time for his meals.  Despite their best efforts, the warriors were unable to kill this great beast.  The medicine men of the tribe prayed with their chief that the great creator would show them how to overcome this monster.  Their prayers and chants were heard by Bat and Spider, who came to help.  Bat planned to battle the monster until it died, while Spider spun a web to catch Mosquito.

Overhearing this plan, Mosquito decided to run away, fearful that he wouldn’t be able to best Bat in battle.  He flew so fast that he couldn’t be seen.  All that could be heard was the buzzing of his wings as he flew.  But Bat was also fast, and he chased Mosquito.  As Bat began to overcome Mosquito, Mosquito glanced back, only to fly directly into Spider’s web, where he was caught fast and destroyed.  As the blood of the dying Mosquito flew in splatters in all directions, from each drop of blood was born a small mosquito, one with sharp stingers.  These thousand sons of Mosquito still bite us today, and still must continue to elude Spider, who still spins a web to stop them, and Bat, who still hunts for them in the night.

Finally, Aesop tells the tale of a fox that crossed a river, only to find itself tangled up in a bush, unable to move.  Seeing the predicament the fox was in, a group of mosquitoes decided to take advantage of the situation.  They settled down upon him and began to dine on Fox’s blood.

A hedgehog strolls up and takes pity upon the poor fox.  The hedgehog offers to drive away all of the mosquitoes that are biting the fox.  The fox thanks the hedgehog for his offer but declines.  When the hedgehog asks why, the fox says that the mosquitoes have already had all they could eat and that he fears if they’re driven away, more will come to take their place and, because of their voracious appetite, he will be bled to death.

Although these stories don’t offer any concrete advice on how to rid yourself of the pesky nuisances that are mosquitoes, they do provide an interesting background glance into the colorful history of the mosquito.


Fun Facts For November!

It seems like something out of a science fiction novel.  You notice you’re being bitten by a mosquito.  Simply pull your skin on either side of the mosquito taut, trapping the mosquito’s proboscis, and you force the mosquito to ingest so much blood that she explodes.  Fact or fiction?

Surprisingly, this is true and has been verified by a number of people.  However, the bigger question is why you might want to do this.  It doesn’t do anything except kill one mosquito that has already bitten you and subjected you to whatever diseases it may be carrying.  It does nothing to prevent future bites or to reduce the local population of mosquitoes.

So explode the mosquito if it brings you pleasure or a sense of accomplishment, but unless you derive a great deal of joy from watching a mosquito drown in your own blood, there are better ways to manage the annoying little pests.

Everybody is looking for the ultimate mosquito repellent and sprays made from garlic often come up on the radar.  But is it true that the scent of garlic sprays, which eventually become undetectable to the human nose, causes mosquitoes, with their more sensitive sense of smell, to avoid certain areas?

This one falls firmly in the fiction category – mosquitoes really don’t have a sense of smell at all.  Yes, they’re attracted to certain odors, but most repellents work not by making you smell bad to the mosquito, but by covering up your normally attractive aroma.

If you’re looking for a repellent, there are a number of effective natural remedies, such as DEET, which is very reliable – not garlic sprays.

Ultrasonic transmitters designed to repel mosquitoes have also become very popular lately.  Some stores even offer small models you can wear around your neck as a pendant or clip to your clothing.  But do these transmitters work?  And are they safe for humans to wear?

Here’s the short answer on ultrasonic transmitters – no, they don’t work.  The EPA spent two years testing every ultrasonic transmitter they could get their hands on in hopes of finding a way to get rid of mosquitoes without using chemicals.  Unfortunately, there was no measurable effect on mosquitoes or on humans as far as they could tell.  The EPA’s findings have also been upheld by additional studies at various universities.  In fact, manufacturers of ultrasonic transmitters are finding themselves in trouble with the EPA and the United States government over their unsupported product claims.

The best way to avoid mosquitoes is to remove any potential breeding grounds from the areas you frequent outdoors.  For example, if you see standing water – such as a bird bath, a puddle or even an overturned shovel or flower pot – do your best to eliminate it.  Also, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when most mosquitoes prefer to bite.  If these two solutions alone aren’t enough to end your mosquito woes, choose an insect repellent that contains DEET for maximum effectiveness.



Fun facts For October!

When you think about why a mosquito bite itches, it’s really kind of gross.  A mosquito bite itches, after all, because you’re having a localized allergic reaction to the saliva the mosquito injects into you before it bites.  So obviously, the first thing you’ll want to do to treat a mosquito bite is try to avoid getting one in the first place!

However, if you do your best to stay away from mosquitoes, make yourself a less appetizing snack by using repellents and still get a bite, there are several things you can use to stop the itch.

The first is to apply ice to the bite.  Using a topical antihistamine product can also help stop the itch, as can taking an oral antihistamine product.  Oral antihistamines can cause drowsiness, however, so that may not be your best choice.

There are a number of products marketed specifically for relief of insect bites.  Be sure to read the product label carefully and follow the directions before applying.

Calamine lotion can also be used to soothe itching skin.  This lotion is a well-known remedy for itchy skin, such as the kind that results from poison ivy and chicken pox.  Hydrocortisone cream can also help reduce itching.

In addition, there are a number of different preparations you can add to your bath that will soothe your itchy skin.  Colloidal oatmeal is one popular choice, but you can also add baking soda or epsom salt to your water to help relieve the itch.

Next, there are a number of traditional home remedies for mosquito bites.  One is making a paste from baking soda and water and placing it on the surface of the bite.  A paste made from a meat tenderizer that contains the papain enzyme can also help reduce itching and swelling.  A paste made from a crushed aspirin and a bit of water is also said to relieve the pain of a mosquito bite.  Finally, many people swear that a paste made from garlic salt and water will sting for about five seconds when applied to the bite, but then the itching will be gone for good.

In folklore, there are also a number of home remedies that are recommended for soothing a mosquito bite.  One of the most common is tobacco juice – however, if you decide to try this, avoid getting it on your clothing and limit its presence on your skin as it stains.  Some people also recommend using a cotton ball to apply apple cider vinegar, ammonia, bleach, honey, and tea tree oil to the skin.  In fact, tea tree oil has been demonstrated to have antibacterial properties, as has honey.

Rubbing a slightly dampened bar of ivory soap across the surface of the skin can also reduce itching.

If you need something more than just itch relief and want to numb the bite, try applying a teething gel such as Ora-jel or the lidocaine ointment known as Hurricane Gel to the bit.

Whatever you do, avoid scratching the bite.  This causes more histamine to be released – increasing the itching – and can cause the site to become infected.




Fun Facts for September!


 Mosquito eggs can lay dormant for many years in a dry area. When water covers them, is when the process of the life cycle begins. Some have been found to be dormant for 5 years!


Fun Facts For The month of August!


Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on earth.


That’s right; more deaths are associated with mosquitoes than any other animal on the planet. Mosquitoes may carry any number of deadly diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis. Mosquitoes also carry heartworm, which can be fatal to your dog.




                                             Fun Facts For The Month of July!!




In the interest of science, Arctic researchers uncovered their chests, arms, and legs and reported as many as 9000 bites per person, per minute. At this rate, an unprotected human would loseone half of his blood supply in 2 hours!




       Fun Facts For The Month of June!!


Mosquitoes are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – 400 million years ago. They are known from North America from the Cretaceous – 100 million years ago.



Bigger people are often more attractive to mosquitoes because they are larger targets and they produce more mosquito attractants, namely CO2 and lactic acid.



Active or fidgety people also produce more CO2 and lactic acid.



Women are usually more attractive to mosquitoes than men because of the difference in hormones produced by the sexes.




Blondes tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes than brunettes.




Smelly feet are attractive to mosquitoes – as is Limburger Cheese.



Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes.



Movement increased mosquito biting up to 50% in some research tests.


A full moon increased mosquito activity 500% in one study.



Useful Facts For The Month Of May!



Repellents are substances that help people avoid mosquito bites. Anyone working or playing in mosquito-infested areas will find repellents very helpful. Repellents are formulated for use on bare skin.  They are sold as aerosols, creams, solids (sticks),pump sprays and liquids. Use repellents containing ingredients such as diethyl phthalate, diethyl carbate; N, N-Diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide (DEET), metofluthrin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus, picaridin and ethyl hexanediol. For more than 50 years, DEET has been the gold standard in mosquito repellents. Check the label for these active ingredients.  Repellents do not kill mosquitoes and other insects, but they will help deter them from biting people.

Permethrin-containing products (Permanone) are recommended for use only on clothing, shoes, bednets and camping gear—never on skin. Permethrin does kill mosquitoes and ticks and is highly effective. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes and other arthropods.  It remains effective even after repeated laundering. Permethrin-treated clothing should be safe when label directions are followed. Permethrin products should never be applied to the skin. It is often helpful to use spray repellents on outer clothing as well as the skin. Protection times vary.  Repellents such as DEET that are used on the skin will be effective for anywhere from 90 minutes to 10 hours, depending on the amount of active ingredient in the product and skin condition.  Permethrin products sprayed on clothing generally may be expected up to 6 hours following application.

Oil of citronella is the active ingredient in many of the candles, torches, or coils that can be burned to produce a vapor or smoke that repels mosquitoes. These are only useful outdoors when the wind isn’t blowing. These products are less effective than repellents applied to the body or permethrin applied to clothing.
Here are some commonsense rules to follow when using repellents

  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants outdoors during peak mosquito activity periods.
  • Apply repellent sparingly only to exposed skin.  Use repellents on skin under clothing only when mosquitoes can pierce through the clothing.
  • Do not inhale or ingest repellents or get them into the eyes. 
  • Avoid applying high-concentration products (more than 50% DEET) to the skin, Avoid applying repellents to portions of children's hands that are likely to have contact with eyes or mouth. 
  • Pregnant and nursing women should minimize use of repellents. 
  • Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin. 
  • Use repellent sparingly being sure to cover all exposed skin.  A mosquito can find an unprotected spot the size of a dime. Saturation does not increase efficacy. Protection time provided by repellents is determined by the amount of active ingredient in the formulation.  A 10% DEET-based repellent will typically last 90 minutes or so.  A 30% product will last 5-6 hours.
  • Wash repellent-treated skin after coming indoors. 
  • If a suspected reaction to insect repellents occurs, wash treated skin, and call a physician. Keep the repellent container so that you can tell the physician exactly what product you are using. The most commonly reported reaction is stinging when the repellent gets into the eyes.  Flush eyes with cold water immediately if this occurs.  Skin reactions are exceedingly rare and resolve quickly when the product is washed off.  These reactions are not related to the concentration of the active ingredient in the product.

Which repellent works best?  N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged. DEET was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was registered for use by the general public in 1957.  It is effective against mosquitoes, biting flies, chiggers, fleas, and ticks. Decades of empirical testing of more than 20,000 other compounds has not resulted in other repellent products with the duration of protection and broad-spectrum effectiveness of DEET, although the recent additions of picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are remarkably close in effectiveness to DEET.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says that all family members over the age of two months can use DEET-based repellents with up to 30% concentration with confidence.

DEET-based repellents have been around for more than 50 years but that hasn't kept the folks who make these products from innovating with new fragrances, new formulations, new product types, and, best of all, products that feel nice when applied.  The DEET-based repellent fragrances are pleasant to use and range from fruity to woodsy neutral scents.  Unscented products have a slight alcohol odor (there's alcohol in the formulation) until they dry on the skin.  Folks who tend to be allergic to fragrances should try the unscented products.  Today's products start out at a concentration of 5% (lasts 90 minutes or so) and range up to 100% (for approximately 10 hours of protection from bites).  Pick one that matches your activity.  For an outdoor family barbecue in the evenings, a 10% product is fine.  It will help protect from bites for approximately 90 minutes to two hours.  Products are available in aerosols, pump sprays, lotions, creams and even towelettes.  These are individually packaged and are also sold in a handy plastic container that allows the towelettes to pop up one at a time.  There are water resistant and water repellent products.  One brand uses a microencapsulation process that helps the DEET release over time after you have applied it. Another goes on dry from an aerosol can, just as powder antiperspirants do.

For those who are in tick country, it's important to use a product with at least a 20% concentration. Lower concentrations of all EPA-registered repellents are not effective at warding off ticks.

Most apparent repellency failures with DEET are due to misapplications, so care should be taken to apply it thoroughly (avoiding the eyes and mouth) and to reapply when necessary. This is crucial to maintain the DEET vapor barrier above the skin. New polymerized 30% DEET cream formulations provide excellent protection that nearly matches that of higher DEET concentrations in regular formulations.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says products containing up to and including 30 percent DEET can be used on children.  The AAP says  DEET-based repellents can be used on children two months of age  and older.

In April of 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending two new active ingredients as safe, effective repellents.

The first of these is picaridin, a synthetic developed by Bayer Corporation in the 1980s. This repellent has been used widely outside of the United States and is marketed by the same companies that product DEET-based repellents. Picaridin is odorless, has a pleasant feel and doesn't damage certain fabrics and finishes  affected by other repellents.  Studies have shown it to be as fully repellent to mosquitoes and ticks as DEET and can also be applied on infants as young as 2 months.

Another EPA-registered repellent is oil of lemon-eucalyptus.  It is marketed by companies that make both DEET and picaridin repellents.  The formulation is based on the molecule found in eucalyptus.  It cannot be used on children younger than three years of age.  Like other essential oil products, it can cause skin irritation in higher concentrations.  It has a pleasant scent and feel without any plasticizing properties. At higher concentrations, it is also effective at repelling ticks.

EPA has further registered 2 additional repellents, Metofluthrin, a spatial repellent, and a catnip formulation (not marketed as yet). Metofluthrin is currently sold as OFF! Clip-Ons, a battery-operated system that allows the metofluthrin to volatilize from a wicking substrate and utilizes the battery to blow the substance around the body, providing the protection. Efficacy studies are underway at present, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness yet in a field setting. In the laboratory, metofluthrin both repels and kills flying insects. Catnip has been noted for years as possessing repellency against mosquitoes. However, only recently has its efficacy been demonstrated to the extent it could be registered by the EPA. DuPont has engineered a catnip formulation that exhibits the traits of a commercially effective repellent and has registered the product with the EPA. A commercial version is not yet available, though. Catnip products currently available through internet suppliers do not possess an EPA registration that validates its efficacy.

Mosquito coils and Therma-cell® devices can also provide some protection. Both utilize a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide that has repellent properties, but are most effective in situations of little wind, where the repellent mixture remains in place in the air column surrounding the body. The Therma-cell is a favorite among hunters.

Here is some new information on the mosquito for April 2013! (Courtesy of AMCA)


Mosquitoes are insects belonging to the order Diptera, the True Flies. Like all True Flies, they have two wings, but unlike other flies, mosquito wings have scales. Female mosquitoes' mouthparts form a long piercing-sucking proboscis. 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.

There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world; currently 176 species are recognized in the United States. A new species, Anopheles grabhamii, was reported from the Florida Keys in 2001 (Darsie et al. 2002). Each mosquito species has a Latin scientific name, such as Anopheles quadrimaculatus. Anopheles is the "generic" name of a group of closely related mosquitoes and quadrimaculatus is the "species" name that represents a group of individuals that are similar in structure and physiology and capable of interbreeding. These names are used in a descriptive manner so that the name tells something about each particular mosquito, for example, Anopheles - Greek meaning hurtful or prejudicial and quadrimaculatus - Latin meaning four spots (4 dark spots on the wings). Some species have what are called "common names" as well as scientific names, such as Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus, the "black salt marsh mosquito."

Scientific investigators (taxonomists) are constantly looking for new mosquitoes, as well as reviewing previously identified specimens for new information or identifying characteristics. Better microscopic equipment developed in the last 20 years has improved the taxonomist's ability to determine differences between species. Recently such a review by Dr. John Reinert (2000) led to a change in the name of many mosquitoes belonging to the genus Aedes. Using improved methods and over 30 years' experience he elevated a subgenus of Aedes ( Ochlerotatus ) to the status of genus. This will necessitate the renaming of many mosquitoes previously named Aedes to the genus Ochlerotatus and the rewriting of many taxonomic keys important to public health entomologists working in mosquito control.

The Name "Mosquito"
The Spanish called the mosquitoes "musketas," and the native Hispanic Americans called them "zancudos." "Mosquito" is a Spanish or Portuguese word meaning "little fly" while "zancudos," a Spanish word, means "long-legged." The use of the word "mosquito" is apparently of North American origin and dates back to about 1583. In Europe, mosquitoes were called "gnats" by the English, "Les moucherons" or "Les cousins" by French writers, while the Germans used the name "Stechmucken" or "Schnacke." In Scandinavian countries mosquitoes were called by a variety of names including "myg" and "myyga" and the Greeks called them "konopus." In 300 B.C., Aristotle referred to mosquitoes as "empis" in his "Historia Animalium" where he documented their life cycle and metamorphic abilities. Modern writers used the name Culex and it is retained today as the name of a mosquito genus. What is the correct plural form of the word mosquito? In Spanish it would be "mosquitos," but in English "mosquitoes" (with the "e") is correct.

Mosquitoes can be an annoying, serious problem in man's domain. They interfere with work and spoil hours of leisure time. Their attacks on farm animals can cause loss of weight and decreased milk production. Some mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, filariasis and encephalitis [St. Louis encephalitis (SLE), Western Equine encephalitis (WEE), LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC), Japanese encephalitis (JE), Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV)] to humans and animals.


                                            March's Fun Facts!

How fast can mosquitoes fly?
Depending upon the species, mosquitoes can fly at about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

How far can mosquitoes fly?
Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles. Certain large pool breeders in the Midwest are often found up to 7 miles from known breeding spots. The undisputed champions, though, are the saltmarsh breeders - having been known to migrate up to 100 miles in exceptional circumstances, although 20 to 40 miles are much more common when hosts are scarce. When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances.

How much do they weigh?
Smaller species found around houses commonly weigh about 2.5 milligrams. Our largest species weigh in at a whopping 10 milligrams.

                                     Check back each month for new facts!




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