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Old 10-17-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default MOSQUITOS!!

The rainy season may at last be getting under way here in Cancun, and with it will come more of those tiny, black, relatively slow flying mosquitoes that bite mainly the lower legs and feet, most often at dusk and dawn. With these I can't say, as I have for years, that I'm safe from mosquitoes whenever my wife is seated at the same table, because these seem to have no male/female preference!

As it turns out, these types are especially attracted to the odor of feet. (I guess I better break out the foot powder!) The odor that attracts them is produced by the same bacterium, Brevibacterium linens, that is used to make Limburger Cheese.

Whatever the science of it, and whatever type of mosquitoes these little ones are, I hate them and love to kill them when they land in their first attempts to make off with their precious cargo. They are slow flying, so you can't really say it's good sport, but killing one means it's no longer free to bite; nor is it free to go and reproduce more of it's annoying, and potentially dangerous, offspring.

Cancun has a reasonably good mosquito/mosquito borne, disease suppression program in place, and those of you who are up in the middle of the night, or are easily awakened, may see or hear the trucks going by, spraying for mosquitoes as we sleep- getting this unfortunate, but necessary, job done while avoiding exposing the population to excessive amounts of insecticide.

This is one area where the city has done, and continues to do, a pretty effective job; while managing, at the same time, to avoid the bad publicity that results from even one tourist returning home only to become ill, having contracted malaria, dengue, or West Nile Encephalitis during his visit.

Thank you, Cancun!
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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Well, our park is the breeding ground of these gosh darn mozzies, but the car comes by on our street, not even looking at the park

Literally 100`s and 100`s of these suckers attack you and your dogs when taking them out...

I have spoken to the council, starting 2 years ago(!!) but NOTHING has been done about the park. Even their own workers have given letters with signatures(the cops we have patrolling daily/nightly have signed and complained) but nada...

Isnt the point of pest control to go for the nests/breeding areas?

Im sure the excuse would be that it will "kill the plants", but considering the vegetation is kind of dead anyway, we have nothing to lose, right? :roll:

When I lived in Cairns(Australia) the local government planted plants that mosquitoes literally HATE - that would be a great solution and eco-friendly

Just be sure to control these foreign plants of course
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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That's a shame, Rawkus, 'cause it sure takes the fun out of getting out, early AM or PM, just the times when you might want to be walking your dog.

We live near Puerto Cancun, and part of the project plan was to preserve sufficient mangros in the area to give it a hint of natural feel. Problem is, those darned mosquitoes. As you described, they attack en mass, and forget that their supposed to prefer the feet; instead, going for the whole body in one, great competitive rush. As a result, we've all but given up walking there at dawn, or dusk, as we're too busy slapping to be able to enjoy the otherwise attractive environment. We don't usually use mosquito repellent, finding it a little repellent, ourselves, but we may just have to start.
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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You can use dryer wipes, the ones for the clothes dryer, as a mosquito repellent. I know it sounds crazy but they really work. All you need is to put one hanging out a pocket, through a belt loop or your sock/shoe. Works for animals too.

A great foot powder that we get down there and bring back with us is Mexsana.
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Old 10-17-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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I have the understanding that the mosquitoes in Cancun are far more likely to carry Dengue than Malaria. I understand that the Malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the Yucatan live far inland. Personally I haven't heard of a single case of Malaria in the 6 years I've lived here. But I've known at least 10 people who have gotten Dengue. So what I've seen fits what I've heard and read.

They sometimes spray the Parque Kabah for mosquitoes. And afterward I always notice many fewer Iguanas. I think the Iguanas suffer either from the lack of bugs to eat, or from the insecticide, or both.

We always close up the house when the truck comes to spray our street. I don't want that shit in my air.

From what I've seen finding Deet-free mosquito repellent here is all but impossible. If anyone knows where to get some please speak up. I am always sure to buy some when I'm in the US, but we are now running low and need more.
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:41 PM   #6
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Default Mosquito borne disease eradication

Thanks, Mole, for the suggestions. We'll try them both!

RG, you're exactly right to close up your house when they're spraying: the less insecticide you breathe, the better.

Public health concerns often require a trade off of some kind. In this case, the risk of the eradication campaign to health must be weighed against what would happen in the absence of it. You mentioned that, even though Cancun has an eradication program, there are still enough dengue carrying mosquitoes in the environment for you to have personally known ten people who've had it.

Both malaria and dengue prevention require effective control of mosquito populations. If there are no cases of malaria in Cancun, it is a measure of the effectiveness of the current program, in relation to that one disease. Malaria and dengue are not carried by the same mosquito, and it may very well be that the insecticides are more effective against the one, than the other.

There was a significant outbreak of malaria in Cancun that occurred before you arrived here, in late 1999-early 2000. It made the international news as both Canadians, and Americans returned home from holidays here, only to sicken with malaria.

The malaria carrying mosquito anopheles albimanus is ubiquitous in Quintana Roo. In countries where malaria is a significant problem, bed netting becomes useful, and recommended, because this mosquito will feed in the dark. (Have you ever thought there was something elegant/romantic looking, about a bed draped in mosquito netting? I have.)

Should we be alarmed? Well, no, because mosquitoes are being dealt with in the metropolitan areas, including Cancun. Additionally, in order for you to catch malaria, the mosquito that bites you must, itself, have picked up the parasite from a host, at some time before biting you.

Here, there is no need to take anything other than routine precautions, avoiding mosquito bites in whatever way works best for you. That can mean staying indoors during the peak biting times of day; or, using an appropriate repellent.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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Default Mosquitoes

I had intended this thread to be light when I first posted, but I suppose my mention of malaria guaranteed it wouldn't be for long; and, then, when Rivergirl mentioned that she had known ten people who contracted dengue fever, here in Cancun, it was no longer a joking matter. I lived in SE Asia for five years, where dengue fever is prevalent, and I only ever knew two people who had had it, and dengue fever is, itself, a serious matter.

For anyone who has been made a little uneasy, and wants more authoritative information about this part of Mexico, there is a nice summary of the recommendations, with regard to malaria, compiled from WHO and other sources, at page 4, item 38, of the following PDF file:

http://www.iamat.org/pdf/world_malaria_risk_chart.pdf

What you'll notice there, is that the larger cities in the Yucatan Peninsula, with their very active programs of mosquito control, are the ones considered "malaria free". Anything less than that level of effort, and malaria could again appear, even in those cities, as it did in Cancun, in 1999-2000. (I didn't look at weather data for that period, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a particularly rainy year.)

Keeping mosquitoes out of your house, and taking time to immediately kill any you see inside, is the best first line of defense. When hunting mosquitoes indoors, take time to shoo them out from under beds and tables where they may be resting. You'll be surprised how many you can find there, at times, when you thought you had no mosquitoes in the house, but were still being bitten.

My wife has worked in public health campaigns to promote the use of insecticide impregnated mosquito nets in rural areas as a way of preventing malarial infections. They are highly effective when conscientiously used, preventing the user from being bitten while they sleep.

The mosquitoes most responsible for dengue, on the other hand, mainly aedes aegypti, tend to bite during the daylight hours, and indoors at night in rooms where the lights are on. Turn the lights off, and they will often rest on the walls. Selectively spraying the walls with insecticides, after you determine where they like to rest, can be effective in reducing the number of mosquitoes, indoors.

Birds are harassed by mosquitoes as badly as humans, with the mosquitoes biting birds in their only vulnerable area, the eyelids, as they try to sleep.

Could this explain why birds get up so early in the morning? Poor things.

Worrying about catching things, from mosquitoes or otherwise, can easily get out of hand, as you know. The risk of catching malaria, or dengue for that matter, in Cancun- always low- approaches zero, practically speaking, when you're just a little careful. No one should ever let concern about this issue keep them from visiting and enjoying Cancun.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default LOSING THE BATTLE

Is anybody overrun with mosquitos, now, like I am? I've got them in the house, in spite of my best efforts. To cut down the number hanging around our front door, I sprayed insecticides on the walls and ceilings at the entry. That dropped the number that were hanging out there, but didn't solve the problem.
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The city, and the Dept of Health are also losing the battle, at the moment, but they're fighting back. Novedades reported that a brigade of 500 workers was being sent out by the Department of Health, Northern Zone, Sanitary Jurisdiction No.2 to locate and eliminate, where possible, places where the Aedes Aegypti, the dengue carrying mosquito, are breeding.

All of this is, of course, a drop in the bucket, but maybe they'll also pick up the spraying effort, now that the mosquito population has broken through the control.

There have been 212 cases of dengue this year, so far, in the Northern Zone, of which we are a part.

It only makes sense to try to limit the number of bites you get. Anybody who allows mosquitoes to freely feed on them is taking an unnecessary, and serious, risk with their health.

Having dengue once, does not protect you. There are four different viruses that cause it. It is common for each successive case you have to be worse than the one before, often making hospitalization necessary; and, bringing with it months of suffering, afterward, if you don't die from it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:36 PM   #9
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YES, huge mozzie problem right now, we're itching like mad!

The Raid plugins work pretty well (and smell ok too). Just put in a fresh one, the little buggers are everywhere!
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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Raid plugins work but totally irritate my lungs, big yuck, can't use them anymore. Cough, hack, gag.

We bought these electronic gizmos at Costco that help a lot to keep mosquitoes and other bugs out of the house. They aren't perfect, but definitely made a big difference.

And we bought a leaf blower recently, which is very effective at blowing away bugs from the yard...of course it doesn't keep them away...but it sure is fun to blow those buggers away at 150 MPH. [Although we have to be very careful not to blow away hubby's 3 pet handwriting spiders, who each have big webs in the back yard.]
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:18 PM   #11
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I hate the little buggers. I spray so much Baygon that my ex neighbors used to ask me not to spray as they thought it would kill their dogs.

Plus I always have Off Deep Woods (smuggled in from the US) in my car. This is the best repellant available.

A friend of mine had the "Dengue Hemorrhagic" version a couple of years ago. This is the type that is deadly and causes bleeding through the mucus membranes. She luckily survived. This is spread by the aedes aegypti species of mosquito so if you see one of these guys, get away quickly.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.J.
This is spread by the aedes aegypti species of mosquito so if you see one of these guys, get away quickly.
Just in case your mosquito isnt wearing a nametag. This is what they look like:
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:22 AM   #13
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Default OUCH!

Pretty good with the snappy caption, Steve!

Don't you hate them? I guess it's the idea that mosquitoes are going after my blood, not to mention that they can carry diseases, that makes me want to do battle with them.

I'm sure people have noticed from your picture that this baby is not the one that is so commonplace. I've been looking closely at the ones that are, and they seem to me to be more likely to be Culex quinquefasciatus. Small and dark, they lack the banding on the legs that aedes aegypti have, which is beautifully revealed in Steve's closeup. (By the way, Steve, how did you get your wife to sit still long enough for you to take that shot, poor thing!)

Culex are not the ones to carry either dengue, or malaria. That's the good news; but, as is often the case, a little bad news must come with it. They are the carriers of West Nile Encephalitis- West Nile Fever as it's commonly called- potentially fatal, and capable of leaving nasty neurological symptoms in its wake, if you don't die. West Nile Encephalitis has been present here on the peninsula, since 2002.

Still yet another reason not to let mosquitoes feed, freely, on you, at any time.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:03 PM   #14
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Default Culex quinquefasciatus

Steve, if you can get your wife to hold still just one more time, how 'bout one of your nice closeups, this time of Culex quinquefasciatus, so we can see if that's what's been buggin' us around here. Tell her, "This is the last one, promise."
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:50 PM   #15
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Here's Culex quinquefasciatus,



By the way, that's not my wifes skin. I Know she is Mexican but she's not that hairy.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:10 PM   #16
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Default NOT TRUE, WIFE SHOT

Thanks, Steve, for that nice mug shot of Culex quinquefasciatus, on the previous page.

Steve wrote:
Quote:
By the way, that's not my wife's skin.
My mistake. Your first shot, of the aedes, was made on an almost hairless arm. This second one looks more like it might have been made on my arm.

Still, it's a good shot. This looks a lot more like our culprit, all right, but I'm not sure it's dark enough. The thing I've noticed about these around here, aside from the absence of banding, and their dark coloration, is that they sit very low, and flat on the skin, relative to others, which appear to stand up taller- perhaps on longer legs.

I started to get interested in mosquitoes, after coming to Cancun, when I began to think seriously about why they seemed to prefer some people over others, and some body parts, over others. Mosquitoes not only vary in appearance, size and distribution in the world, but they vary in behavior, as well, making them extremely interesting to learn more about.

It turns out the Culex quinquefasciatus has an extremely strong tendency to bite below the knees; and, even more so, near and on the feet, with only 7% of their bites being on other body parts, in experiments with human subjects, who lie naked, waiting to be bitten (I hope they're well paid). I killed one of the "seven percenters," just the other day, when he tried to bite me on the arm.

They are also, like aedes aegypti, very particular about when they bite, feeding only when there is light available, natural or artificial: sounds like this one may have just a little trouble with night navigation: many of the others sure don't though, do they. At least this one won't keep you awake at night!
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:02 AM   #17
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Default CAN WE HAVE ANOTHER?

Now, Steve, if you wanted to make it a trifecta, you could give us one of anopheles albimanus.

Now that I know your wife doesn't have to pose for these shots, I don't feel so bad, asking.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:01 AM   #18
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If Cancun Centro has a mosquito problem then I'll bet half of it is because the Parque Kabah is a mosquito nest. We went there yesterday and it's pretty much a lake all through the woods there. I can't imagine how many mosquitoes will be hatched there just this week, from this rain.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:37 AM   #19
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Default MOSQUITO NEST!?

Looks like you're going to be in for it, RG!

Better start taking those garlic tablets, now! (I'd think about giving some to your husband, too, to keep peace in the household.)

[Actually, I tried those once, when I was in Moscow. Didn't work worth a damn, at least not on Moscow mosquitoes, who seemed to have a sort of Italian taste preference, in my experience. V.]
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:17 AM   #20
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Mosquitoes don't bite me. It's all this ice in my veins.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #21
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Default MOSQUITO ERADICATION CAMPAIGN INTENSIFIES

The Health Dept has intensified its efforts to eradicate the dengue carrying mosquito, according to reports in Novedades. They quote the chief of the Second Sanitary Jurisdiction, Antonio Coronado Rojas, as saying the team of 500 health workers sent out earlier (and mentioned in this thread) will soon have completed visits to 20,000 households, looking for standing water that could harbor mosquito larva. The same article mentioned that, of the 20,000 households visited, 12,000 of them had been "treated." [Ed.- standing water "sprayed," perhaps, if it could not be drained? See Steve's post, below which may/may not, be such an example.]

He is also quoted as saying that he has issued instructions for an "extraordinary cycle of spraying to be carried out during the period from 11 November to 16 November," in an effort to eradicate the dengue carrying mosquito. [Ed.- probably referring to the spraying that takes places from trucks on the streets of Cancun, while we sleep, done routinely as a measure to suppress the mosquito population. In all likelihood, he means an "extra" cycle of spraying, in addition to that already on the schedule.]

Perhaps we'll begin to see some results from this effort, soon.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: MOSQUITO ERADICATION CAMPAIGN INTENSIFIES

Quote:
Originally Posted by V
The Health Dept has intensified its efforts to eradicate the dengue carrying mosquito, according to reports in Novedades. They quote the chief of the Second Sanitary Jurisdiction, Antonio Coronado Rojas, as saying the team of 500 health workers sent out earlier (and mentioned in this thread) will soon have completed visits to 20,000 households, looking for standing water that could harbor mosquito larva. He is also quoted as saying that he has issued instructions for an "extraordinary cycle of spraying to be carried out during the period from 11 November to 16 November," in an effort to eradicate the dengue carrying mosquito.
We see them about twice a year, they make us empty watering cans we use daily, yet our next door neighbours have a neglected swimming pool 3 feet deep in stagnant water and it's been there two years.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:11 AM   #23
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Default MAKES YOU WONDER, DOESN'T IT?

Sounds inept, and just a little annoying! But, this way, they probably got to "tick off" your house as both visited, and "treated"!

By the way, Steve, have you noticed any improvement, now that they made you empty your buckets!!?? :lol:

About your neighbor, I wonder if they may not have sprayed the surface of the water in the (cess)pool next door, in an effort to kill any mosquito larvae that might have been enjoying the nice, "natural" conditions that existed there, before their visit.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #24
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Default EXTRAORDINARY!

Looks like the "extraordinary cycle" of spraying for mosquitoes by the city which was scheduled for the 11th to the 16th of November may have had the desired effect. We still have more mosquitoes than I would like, but there are far fewer of them, here at our place, than there were before. You can actually get in and out of our apt, now, without being mobbed!
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #25
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@V: Good for you!

We are still waiting, 78 days to be precise, for the "truck of terror"(they seem to LOVE to spray people going and coming from their cars... No warning, just "schhhhhhhhh!" )

And, the neighborhood is still waiting, approx 5 months now, to hear back from the Municipal regarding "why dont you spray our park??!!"... Nada :roll:

Funny how they seem to think that the mozzies live on the parking lot, which by the way has no visible drains at all, while the park is infested and the grass similar to a jungle

Taking the dogs out has now become a thing very similar to Usain Bolt.

"Ok girls, you have precisely 1 min to do your business.. GO GO GO !!" :lol:
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:04 PM   #26
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It seems the trucks have forgotten that the Puerto Juarez/ Punta Sam area is part of Cancun.

There are millions of them, it is impossible to be out from ~5 to 8 pm, and they must be regretting that I am leaving, they love me (or show me their love ) much more than the previous years.
Hmmm... it is NOT reciprocal :evil:
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:02 AM   #27
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Jenlieb, there's probably no hope for you! First, there's that enormous lagoon, just west of Puerto Juarez, with all its vegetation; then, the City of Benito Juarez ends just north of there, and a new jurisdiction takes over- Isla Mujeres, I think- and it may not be part of the Second Sanitary Jurisdiction where the extra spraying was said to be taking place; finally, there's all that undeveloped land, with it's forests, to the north and west from Puerto Sam. I suppose nobody's going to be spraying those. I feel for you, girl. Try everything I suggested, earlier in this thread: maybe it'll help, some....
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #28
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I guess there is no hope!!! :lol: and not only for that

My place is in the Municipio of Benito Juarez, Isla Mujeres starts much further down the road. I know what you mean (lagoon and jungle). Still, it is the first year there are so many, and in the morning too I noticed yesterday.

I have some sprays, they bite anyway. Garlic... Brkkk :wink:

Thanks for all your help
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:11 PM   #29
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Jenlieb, I was referring, in part, to some of my earlier suggestions about how to use insecticides, around the house, taking advantage of these mosquitoes lack of mobility in the dark. Turn off the lights, and later, when you turn them back on, you can sometimes find where they like to rest, on your walls, inside. Lightly, but completely spraying the walls where you found them resting can help (it's usually from about waist high, on up: unfortunately, they also like to rest on the ceilings, a much harder place to spray without getting insecticide all over yourself, unless you use a ladder, or stand on a chair).

Then, do the same thing, outside, near your entrances, waiting until you find them resting, and spraying all the walls and ceilings that seem to be their favorite resting places, at a time when it's not too windy (again, to avoid getting over much insecticide on yourself).

For sitting outdoors, I find mosquito coils work pretty well: I usually position four to five of them on a perimeter around where we're going to be sitting, at least a full ten minutes ahead of time. This will buy you almost perfect freedom from being bitten, as it first immobilizes them, then kills them. Either way, they aren't biting. (These coils emit an insecticide, so don't use them indoors, and don't breathe the smoke, directly, even if you like the smell of them- which I do.)

Last, spraying your own shrubbery can help keep the immediate vicinity of your apt relatively mosquito free: I often ask our gardener to do it, here, and it makes a difference. He uses an insecticide you add to water, then put in an attachment to the garden hose.

Always annoying, they've been especially bad the last few weeks: I'm just sorry you haven't seen an improvement from the extra efforts the health dept has been making there, where you are. Good luck with any measures you decide to take against them: they deserve it, blood thirsty little....
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:58 PM   #30
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hello,

That's nice of you!

I don't have so many inside the apartment, they invite themselves when I open the door (which I have to do once in a while :wink: ). I have mosquito screens on every window.

but they attack full strength when I go from my apartment to my car.... then get inside the car. The sprays don't do a lot.

Since I live in a condo, I can't spray much around. The gardener should do it, he used to do a general desinfection... pero ahora no hay dinero... so...

This wave of heat is unbelievable, I hope it won't last long, and also I won't be here for long either. I might regret them :roll: It was more a comment than a complaint :lol:
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