Permaculture and mosquitoes

Jonathan Bentley jwb at sanynet.ne.jp
Fri Jan 9 01:03:50 EST 1998


Forwarded message:

----------
From: 	James Knox[SMTP:knox at alaska.net]
Sent: 	Thursday, June 12, 1997 1:31 AM
To: 	EARTHSHIPS and SELF-SUFFICIENT ARCHITECTURE
Subject: 	mosquitos!

   I have several friends who have tried the electronic skeeter repellers. 
They work
somewhat but are not effective when the numbers(of bugs) go up. Here are 
some effective ways I have seen to repell the little pests here in Alaska:
   Wear light colored clothing. Dark clothing attracts.
   Avoid morning and evening travel through skeeter country: TYPICALLY 
(meaning not always but usually) skeeters hunt their quarry predominately 
in temps that are just right, when mammals(the quarry) are warmer than 
their surroundings(so their heat sensors work well)- like in the cool of 
the eve, or morning. But once it's too cool they are inactive. And during 
the heat of the day they are inactive. They sense their prey by sight: 
movement, smell & heat sensors.
   Wind in the slightest amount is a BIG problem for skeeters. Therefore 
areas that are open, like along rivers or large lake shores or oceans get a 
steady breeze that will knock out most of the skeeters. Here in Alaska it 
is a common saying to stay above timberline or along lakeshores, large 
rivers or the coast of Alaska during
summer(skeeter time) and visit the Interior during the late Fall & early 
Spring and
winter months, when the biting bugs are gone. All these areas have skeeters 
BUT the prevailing winds will keep them at bay.
   Humidity will increase their activity and ability to find you. After or 
even during a
light rain skeeters will be out and hunting. Their sense of smell works 
better in humid conditions, just as ours does. Avoid travel through skeeter 
country when it's raining or still wet from a storm.
   Getting up off the ground works well too, or on the water. This works 
because
skeeters don't hunt their quarry in these areas. Citronella(sp?) coils that 
are lit are a great deterent for skeeters. You light them and they smoke.
   Another deterrant- my favorite, is the "Alaska bug off parka" which is 
nothing more than an old blazer or light weight jacket that you put in a 
large trash bag and add a can of OFF, Ben's, Cutter's or any other skeeter 
repellant. Shake the can up and poke a small hole in it. Drop it in the bag 
and seal her off. Bleed off the pressurized air in the bag but then 
re-seal. Now the contents of the can will permeate the parka in the bag. 
Keep the parka in this bag until you need it. Then take it out and put it 
on for that 1/2 hour or couple of hours you need it. Then return it to the 
bag where it's potency will remain high. You can recharge it periodically. 
Note: this is a potent, powerfull deterrant against biting bugs, to be used 
in extreme measures. The beauty of it is you can remove the offensiveness 
of the bug repellant as soon as you no longer need it: you don't have to 
put it directly on your skin.
   Netting can work well but I never liked it's limitations in movement, 
visibility and
hearing. A head net over a FULL brem hat(all the way around) is best & can 
be used when you re sleeping or active. Larger nets that cover a living 
space are a problem because of entry & exit which allows the little pests 
to get in and then you spend all your time trying to rid premises of 
illegal aliens.
   If you ever find yourself in bad company with no way to avoid them lay 
hold of some mud and coat your skin with it. This will dis-orient them. 
They will come in close but then just not quite be able to find you. Keep 
moving and seek open areas with little wind protection.
   I have more I could dig up if your interested: there are natural herbs 
and remedies
to deter skeeters too.               Hope some of this helps, James, 
Ninilchik, AK


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