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  • Writer's pictureChelle Hartzer

Bite Me (AKA: Just stop already)

You folks know I read a lot of research on all things pests so I can help my clients have the best service possible. I have quite a few alerts set for any news stories on all things pest related. It doesn’t surprise me that pest control and pest control devices are in the news. People want to protect themselves, their homes, and their foods from harmful pests. And if you read it on the internet, it must be true.



Here’s a few things that have very recently hit my feeds.


I live in the south, we’ve got pests. Mosquitoes are one of those pests. So it doesn’t surprise me that a major magazine called Southern Living has an article on mosquitoes. Just hang two to four of these tubes, mixed with warm water in your yard and you won’t have mosquitoes. After MUCH searching, I finally found the active ingredient: boric acid. Boric acid kills pests by ingestion or contact (messing up their exoskeleton). A mosquito, which feeds on blood, and can’t get inside the tube, is supposed to be … what… deterred by this in some way? Apparently according to Kaitly Yarborough who has a degree in journalism.

Who doesn't like a good deal? Maggie Clancy from SheKnows certainly does! According to her, buying a cool bracelet will keep the mosquitoes off you. They contain “essential oils”. That’s supposedly enough to override the CO2, body heat, and smell of a person to drive mosquitoes away. But they have garnered rave reviews from customers so that must mean it’s true. Even better, it says keep out of reach of children, so this is an adults only product.

Next up is the Thermocell which is “a rechargeable mosquito repeller providing a 20-foot swathe of protection that is invisible, scent-free, and silent.” It contains metafluthrin which has been shown to effectively kill mosquitoes. However, most trials have been done indoors, in enclosed spaces. When you have this thing releasing the pesticide like a little humidifier, I doubt there is going to be great results. Any amount of air currents will push this away. It specifically says not to use it indoors.

The local Maine ABC channel has helpfully listed some products including a fan. That’s right, this small, 10 inch fan has “holographic” blades to “bend” the light. That somehow “creates an unnatural environment” that insects won’t enter. Instead of spending the $12.99 on this, you are better off getting a big box fan and blowing the mosquitoes away.


They also listed these interesting string lights with little pesticide bottles interspersed on the string. This is much like the Thermocel with metafluthrin in the bottles. Same issues with this as the Thermocell: the pesticide is going to disperse pretty quickly. For the low price of $160 per string of lights, you might as well get a bug zapper. That way you can have the satisfaction of hearing when a bug gets zapped.


Don’t even get me started on those “ultrasonic” devices.


What can you do? Great question, thanks for asking. All the normal stuff. Reduce standing water, wear a CDC approved repellent, and if you are going to treat, focus on the adult resting spots. Stay indoors, that will prevent mosquito bites!


If you want to develop the best mosquito control program, contact us, we can do that for you based on actual science, not gimmicks.

urban pest consulting


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