One is always the spool, while the other is rarely stung: what drives a mosquito and how do you keep the mutts at bay? Most mosquito repellent products do not work. There are only four proven methods of keeping gadflies at bay.
You light a citronella candle and put on a special wristband. Then open the ultrasound app on your phone. Oh yes, and take in enough beer and garlic, so that the last diehard mosquito also drips with the sting between the legs because of your body odor. Too bad, but unfortunately, all these products and tips don’t help at all, says mosquito expert Bart Knols against Quest. But what does work?
“There is a lot of talk about mosquitoes. There are few resources that we know for sure that they work,” says Knols. “Mosquitoes are attracted to body odors. You release hundreds of chemical compounds through your skin and through your breath. Some of them smell attractive to mosquitoes.” Your body odor is partly determined by your diet. But how that complicated process works is very difficult to investigate.
A citronella candle gives off a fruity scent, but that evaporates within a meter. Wristbands may work for your wrist, but a mosquito bites you in the other arm. Switching on a lamp in the hall with the door open also does not work: A fly is attracted to light, but a mosquito is not.
There are four things that do work: a mosquito net, screens on the windows, removing water sources in the immediate area and spraying Deet anti-mosquito spray on your body. “Mosquitoes usually don’t fly far and their larvae float in standing water,” explains Knols. It helps to throw the standing rainwater out of planters, buckets and wheelbarrows. A mosquito net protects against mosquitoes during sleep. That works well, because most mosquito species are most active at night.
Anti-mosquito spray based on eucalyptus oil, IR3535 and Picaridin are also suitable for small children. According to Knols, covering all visible skin with a spray is the last resort: “Many people immediately run to the pharmacy when they are bothered by mosquitoes. But it is more effective to do it the other way around: first remove the breeding grounds, then keep the mosquitoes out and spray and lubricate only last.”