Speaker: Extension Master Gardener Joan McIntyre
Zoom session, May 20, 2022
Learn pesticide-free best management practices to control mosquitoes and ticks in your yard and keep them away from you and your family. The presentation includes how to identify mosquitoes and ticks prevalent in this area, their life cycle, how they reproduce, and where they go in the winter.
Video of Presentation
Captions and Chapter Breaks to come
PowerPoint Presentation – pdf
Follow Up Answers from May 20, 2022 Mosquito and Tick Presentation
Are Mosquitoes attracted to blue light?
Some but not all mosquito species are attracted to blue (ultraviolet) light. Research indicates that night-biting mosquitoes avoid blue light during the daytime while day-biting mosquitoes are attracted to a wide spectrum of light. However, research also indicates that many insects are attracted to blue light, creating a hazard to insect populations – including beneficial insects – in general and a recent study found that amber lights are much less attractive to insects. Scientists continue to research strategies both to use light to attract and trap mosquitoes and to best protect insects from harmful light pollution.
What other types of ground cover provide protection for mosquitoes?
Many authoritative publications on mosquitoes identify English Ivy as attracting mosquitoes as its thick leaves and dense growth provide a moist cover in shady areas. Other dense ground cover in shady areas could provide similar habitat. Removing English Ivy is particularly beneficial because it is very invasive within our ecosystems, smothering trees and pushing out beneficial native plants in addition to offering a welcoming habitat for mosquitoes.
Do Tick larva transmit disease?
According to the Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania, although rare, larval ticks may be infectious as some tick-borne illnesses can be transmitted from an adult tick to the eggs. Ticks mainly become infectious when they absorb a pathogen from one of their hosts. According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, black-legged (deer) tick larvae are not born with Lyme and cannot spread it to humans or other mammals. Instead, “reservoir” hosts will transmit the disease to the larvae. Transmission will not occur until the next life stage (nymph).
Clarification on Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as an Insect Repellent
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) is derived from the leaves of the Lemon Eucalyptus tree, native to Australia and is distinct from essential oils derived from other species of Eucalyptus trees. The synthesized version of OLE is para-menthane03.8-diol (PMD). While all chemicals have some degree of toxicity, the National Pesticide Information Center, rates toxicity for OLE as very low with the exception for eye irritation rated as high. DEET, Picardan, and Merck 3535 are also ranked low to very low for toxicity. More details here.
Where are ticks most likely to attach to the body?
While ticks can attach anywhere on the body, they prefer hard -to-see areas that are moist and warm such as:
|In and around the hair||Under the arms||Around the waist|
|In and around the ears||Inside the belly button||Between the legs|
|Back of the knees|
See here for more details