PHOENIX — Mosquitoes certainly know how to ruin a nice summer evening.
With rainy days among us, now is their peak season and it’s one that’s increasing the worry for West Nile across the Valley.
So what are things you can do to fight the bite?
Well, we all know about the common hacks to keep mosquitoes away, like dumping out even the smallest amount of standing water or using insect repellent.
But what about using dryer sheets? Does this hack actually work?
We will get to that in a minute.
Denis Logan, the owner of Mosquito Joe in North Phoenix says prevention is the best way to keep them away.
“That’s where we come in. We want to break the cycle. We want to make sure that we either eliminate the breeding site or make it one where they can’t reproduce and the next part is going to be to kill, or in the industry, we say knock down, the adults. The ones that are biting,” he told ABC15.
He also says a big part of prevention, now that it’s raining, is clearing out your gutters.
“Leaves pile up, and water gets stuck in them. That’s where mosquitoes can breed.”
He says these pesky insects have two jobs in life: “To bite you and to reproduce."
The ones doing the biting are adult females.
While he says prevention is always the way to go, sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get rid of that buzzing sound around your ears.
Here are some hacks Logan says you can try.
“If you’re wearing something tight, it’s easier for them to bite through your clothing,” he said.
So wear loose-fitting clothing and make sure it’s light in color.
“Mosquitoes bite mammals. Mosquitoes are going to bite things that have blood, and those things are usually darker colored,” Logan explained.
Also, you should put down the beer.
“There is definitely some truth to that…beer drinkers are going to attract mosquitoes. You’re talking about yeast,” he told ABC15.
Mosquitoes are attracted to certain scents, like our sweat, but scents like lavender, citronella, mint, and basil actually repel them.
“The main component of that is linalool and that is also found in fabric softeners. We’re not necessarily wiping ourselves down, but if you put it in your pocket, somewhere where you can have the fragrance on you, it will help with repelling them,” said Logan, while picking up a sheet and putting it in his pocket.
Logan says even blowing [soap] bubbles can help.
“To again I think bring either a fragrance to the area or especially like an oil that they are not going to do well with if they come in contact with it.”
Garlic also works wonders.
“If we spray garlic oil in the plants and they land and they ingest it, it will kill them.”
If you have a ceiling or standing fan, it’s a good idea to turn it on because: “They’re not very strong fliers. They’re not like flies. They’re not like bees,” he said.
Logan also tells us that when it comes to providing some relief for the itch-- putting an “x” on the bite, rubbing alcohol, and saliva are all myths.
“Cooling agents actually help. Eucalyptus, menthol, toothpaste. Hydrocortisone cream is going to go a long way. And then honey and oats [are] soothing properties for the itch,” he added.
Remember though, when it comes to keeping these unwelcome guests away…
“All of these home remedies do have an impact. You just have to have an idea of how much you’re going to need to use to be able to get the effect that you want,” said Logan.