Bug Deterrent FAQs
What attracts mosquitoes?
Only female mosquitoes, not males, bite humans. “They are attracted to a number of different things about us,” Yee said.
They include the carbon dioxide we exhale; our body heat; and the smell of our sweat, soap and perfume. To deter mosquitoes, “you’re trying to mask or remove those things on yourself,” Yee said. “Obviously, it’s easier to mask or remove odor than, say, carbon dioxide,” she said.
What are the best ways to deter mosquitoes?
Yee’s top tips for avoiding mosquitoes are to reduce standing water on your property, wear long sleeves and pants or treated clothing and repellants, and stay indoors during certain hours.
“The biggest time that we’re most vulnerable to a lot of these mosquitoes is kind of a dawn-dusk cycle,” he said, though he added that there are daytime-biting insects in the southernmost parts of the US. .
Prevention is also key. “You can reduce the mosquito population by simply removing anywhere those mosquitoes may be producing their young,” Yee said. He recommends regularly cleaning birdbaths, flower pots, and other items that collect water. Empty gutters of debris to avoid creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
What attracts bees?
“Often when bees are visiting, they’re just checking things out,” Moreau said. “And if they don’t find anything appealing, they’ll move on.”
Hitting them and ending up with a sting can attract more bees. “When that sting sticks to your skin, it also gives off an alarm pheromone that tells other bees in the area that there’s trouble,” Moreau said.
What attracts ants?
When picnicking or camping, remember that you are trespassing on insect territory.
“Choosing a spot that doesn’t appear to have ant mounds or ant mounds nearby is a great idea,” Moreau said. He also suggests leaving the area as you found it, including any logs or stumps you may have moved. “If you flip it, flip it,” he said.
What are the best ways to deter ants and bees?
“The best thing you can do is make sure food is covered and only left out for the minimum amount of time necessary,” McArt said.
Moreau also suggests cleaning up spills right away and disposing of leftover sweet foods, like watermelon juice, away from the gathering space. “If you need to get rid of something like that, try to walk as far away as possible before you drop something on the ground,” Moreau said.
Why are ants and bees good for your garden?
The reason insecticides, bug killers, and other products that kill bugs indiscriminately are not preferred is that they also kill beneficial insects.
“Ants are really great at aerating the soil,” Moreau said. “In fact, they probably remove more soil than earthworms,” which helps mix nutrients through the soil and draw moisture into it.
“They’re also scavengers and detritivores, so they break down all organic matter,” he said.
“And then of course bees are amazing pollinators, and this is very important for many flowering plants,” Moreau said.