Mosquitoes are found all over the world. They have brown bodies with thin wings and six long, thin legs. They typically lay eggs in still water, so they are often found near lakes, swamps, ponds, marshes and tidal areas. They are especially active during spring and summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The favorite food of the female mosquito is blood from humans and animals to provide nutrients for laying eggs. The adult males eat nectar from flowers.
Mosquitoes carry and transmit diseases like malaria, encephalitis, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and heartworm, a serious disease for dogs. The red, itchy, swollen spot that occurs if you are bitten is the body’s reaction to mosquito saliva.
It is possible to “manage” mosquitoes without using DEET. First of all, control your environment. Be sure you have good screens in your windows or keep them closed. Drain any standing water in your yard (to prevent breeding), and keep your grass short. Apply a natural repellent such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and citronella oils. Also mosquitoes are weak flyers, so bring an oscillating fan outside, and keep those bugs away!