Mosquito Facts


DEET is considered the ‘gold standard’ of mosquito repellents. Endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DEET doesn’t mask the smell of the host or jam the insect’s senses – mosquitoes simply don’t like it because it smells bad to them. A product containing 10 percent DEET can protect you for up to 90 minutes. The problem with DEET is the high toxicity and the % of people who have a reaction to this chemical.

Two other repellents, picaridin and lemon-eucalyptus oil, have also proven effective and are now recommended by the CDC. OzzieMozzie is an all-natural accentual oil based mosquito spray which does not contain the chemicals that can harm you, especially for long term use.

Bacteria can be used to kill mosquito larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is a commercially-produced bacteria, sold in pellet and powder form, that can be laced into water where larvae live. It produces proteins that turn into toxins after the larvae eat it.

Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes. Remember, they are drawn to heat and darker clothes retain more heat than light-colored clothing.

Insecticides work, but only in the short term. Permethrin, one of the most common chemicals used by local mosquito control programs, kills mosquitoes on contact by disrupting their central nervous systems. However, eggs and larvae often are not affected. Once the insecticide dissipates, mosquitoes can return.

Bats do not eat mosquitoes. At least, not very many of them. Mosquitoes make up less than 1 percent of a bat’s diet. And purple martins, a bird popularly believed to be a mosquito predator, eat very few mosquitoes. They prefer dragonflies and other insects.

The two main mosquito predators are fish and dragonflies. Dragonfly larvae, called nymphs, eat mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies prey on adult mosquitoes. Some towns in the United States release dragonflies every summer as a natural form of mosquito control.

Mosquito traps can kill thousands of mosquitoes in a single night. One study conducted by public health researchers in Australia found that a trap caught and killed more than 44,000 female mosquitoes from 17 species in less than two weeks.

Bug zappers are useless against mosquitoes. Studies have shown that less than 1 percent of the insects killed by zappers are mosquitoes or other biting insects. The devices attract and kill beneficial or harmless insects, like moths, and have no effect on the overall mosquito population. Electronic repellents have also proven ineffective in scientific testing.


Mosquito myths and misconceptions

mosquitos-mythsThere is no scientific evidence that eating or drinking any particular food (e.g.
bananas, garlic) can reduce the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes.

There is no scientific evidence that taking vitamin B will reduce the likelihood of, or lessen the severity of an individual’s reaction to, a mosquito bite.

Mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV or other disease-causing viruses other than specific mosquito-borne viruses.

Blood type and skin colour are generally not good predictors of the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Any activity (e.g. exercise) that increases body temperature or causes sweating may increase the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Studies have indicated that pregnant women may be more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes due to increased body temperature.

Studies have shown that the consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of being bitten by a mosquito due to increased body temperature (and perhaps failure to reapply repellent).

While there will always be community and media interest in why mosquitoes appear to bite some individuals more than others, the reality is that everyone is susceptible to mosquito bites and it only take one bite for the potential transmission of disease-causing pathogens.

The use of Ozzie Mozzie mosquito repellent will reduce the likelihood of being bitten and allow for a work or holiday free from worry.


What is DEET?

No Deet mosquito repellent

WHAT IS DEET?

The chemical name of DEET is N,N-diethl-meta-toluamide and it is a derivative of toluene. Toluene is a paint thinner and adhesive solvent. Consequently it MELTS PLASTICS (including spectacles), synthetic fibres (nylon etcs.) and shrinks leather!

Market research shows that over 100 million people use DEET-based insect repellents at least once a year.  These repellents are available in the market in many forms, including sprays, lotions and creams.  The percentage of DEET in these repellents is mostly around 10-20%, but the repellents used by the U.S. Army personnel, can contain up to 75% of the chemical.  It was used extensively during WWII by the U.S. Army in the Philippines and Tropics.

Mosquitoes detect you by smell of carbon dioxide, body heat and sweat emitted from your body.  Repellents aromatic smell mask this odour and make it impossible for insects to detect you.

Dangers of Using Synthetic Chemical Mosquito Repellents

It has been found that topical application of repellents containing DEET, can cause long-term side effects.  This is because of the fact that nearly 50% of the chemical penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and around 15% of it, to the bloodstream.  This can adversely affect the skin and prove toxic for the body.  Laboratory research conducted on animals, have shown that DEET can cause damage to the brain cells and affect the musculoskeletal system and internal organs.

In humans, children are the most vulnerable, as their tender skin absorbs substances more readily.  In some cases, toxic substances from repellents have been reported to affect the nervous system and even affect the growth rate.  Given below are some of the potential health hazards and side effects of using chemical-based mosquito repellents.

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain in the joints
  • Inflammation and redness of the skin
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Insomnia or sleeplessness

Prolonged exposure can sometimes lead to serious complications, although such cases are very rare.  The risks of excessive exposure to chemical-based insect repellents, are as follows:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mild to severe depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of memory
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Adverse effects on the central nervous system

Need to Use Repellents

We need to use insect repellents when we are out on trips to the bush, the beach or to a country where there is a danger of insect-borne diseases.  In such situations, insect repellents are our only saviour.  A good way to avoid the many dangers of chemical repellents, is to go for a mosquito repellent made from natural substances such as essential oils, as used in Ozzie Mozzie.  These are effective and are practically free of side effects.

Because DEET is derived from TOLUENE, it has the same solvent properties and will melt plastics, man-made fibre materials, shrink leather, thin paints and dissolve adhesives – AND PEOPLE PUT IT ON THEIR SKIN!!!


The Asian Tiger Mosquito

Aedes_Albopictus

The latest scourge

Named for its arresting stripes and aggressive nature.  Not only does this fellow carry the diseases mentioned above you can add: West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, 2 types of Encephalitis and one you may not have heard of – the “CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS”.  None of these diseases are pleasant, but this is one you don’t want to get.

The word “Chikungunya” emanates from Africa and roughly translates as “that which bends up”.

The symptoms are fever, muscle fatigue and severe joint pain.  This arthritic pain can last up to 2 years.  Cases in Australia have increased dramatically last year with most infections coming out of Bali. And the difference with the Asian Tiger Mosquito is that it will bite during the day where most of the others are active just after dusk and before dawn.


Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is another dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.  It is a problem in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.  Estimates suggest that around 100 million cases occur each year.

Dengue Fever ranges in severity from a mild flu-like illness through to a severe disease.  Dengue Fever can develop into the more severe forms of illness, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome.

There is no specific treatment and no vaccine.  The best way to protect against Dengue Fever is to avoid mosquito bites when in affected tropical and subtropical areas.

There are 4 different viruses under the “Dengue” banner, known as DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.  All four viruses are capable of causing the complications of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

The typical signs and symptoms of uncomplicated Dengue Fever may include:

  • High temperature within one week of infection
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Generally feeling unwell (malaise)
  • Skin rash that appears about four days after the onset of fever
  • Depression

In most cases, symptoms resolve within one to two weeks.  Some people, however, take longer to recover and may struggle with lethargy and depression for weeks or even months.

Symptoms of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever

Although rare in Australia, Dengue Fever can sometimes develop into Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever.  Babies and young children are at increased risk of this complication.  Signs and symptoms may include:

  • All of the above symptoms of uncomplicated Dengue Fever
  • Bleeding under the skin, which causes purple bruises
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Liver problems
  • Heart problems

Symptoms of Dengue Shock Syndrome

A person with Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever may go on to develop Dengue Shock Syndrome.  Signs and symptoms may include:

  • All of the above symptoms of uncomplicated Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
  • Severe bleeding
  • Extremely low blood pressure caused by blood loss (shock)
  • Coma
  • Death

Mosquito-borne Diseases

It may surprise you to know that mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other animal.

This is due to the fact they carry the parasite, PLASMODIUM, which carries MALARIA.  And this infection is on the rise.  Around 311,000,000 new infections and 900,000 deaths occur worldwide every year.

Australia is free of endemic Malaria, but, Aussies can catch the disease when travelling in tropical regions in Asia, Africa, and Central South America.  Most Australian cases of Malaria are contracted in Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia.

OTHER DISEASES FROM MOSQUITOES

Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV) are two of the most important mosquito-borne-viruses causing human disease in Australia.

People suffering from RRV disease or BFV disease may develop a wide range of symptoms that are common to both.

They include painful and/or swollen joints, sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches and swollen lymph nodes.  Less common symptoms include sore eyes, a sore throat, nausea, and tingling in the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

These symptoms may last from a few weeks to several months and in some cases up to a year, and they may recur suddenly and without warning.

Dengue Fever is another dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.  It is a problem in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.  Estimates suggest that around 100 million cases occur each year. [Read More]


Mosquitoes Verus Flies

Mosquito_Tasmania_crop

 

Although flies and mosquitoes are insects they are distant relatives mosquitoes, along with midges, sand flies and ticks are bloodsuckers. They seek you out to feed on your blood, and generally are crepuscular, coming out at dusk.

Flies are a different animal. They seek you out for moisture which they find in your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s why they’re so annoying.

Scientists have established that these insects have different sensory apparatus to support their survival. Consequently they respond to different odours.

That is why OZZIE makes two natural, synthetic chemical and toxin free products specifically designed to repel the little critters based on their sensors. And one is more for daytime use, the other more for evenings.

Ozzie Mozzie Repellant [Read More] Ozzie Fly Repellant [Read More]