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Tagged : mosquitoes

How to protect yourself from West Nile Virus

June 1st, 2013

Summer brings so much fun, but it’s also the dreaded season of the mosquito, and by that we mean, the Culex mosquito, which transmits West Nile Virus to humans. The virus can be deadly, so squelching the mosquito population and finding an effective repellent is important. Here’s a look at the latest thinking and the ingredients endorsed as effective mosquito repellents.

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Natural and necessary ways to keep West Nile virus at bay

August 10th, 2012

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Mosquito-borne West Nile virus has spiked this summer, causing more serious illnesses than any year since 2004 — a total of 390 confirmed and presumed cases as of Aug. 7, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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Compound that mimics mosquitoes’ enemy could control pests

July 26th, 2010

Researchers have reproduced the chemical signature of a mosquito predator to keep the pests from breeding. Image: Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Mosquitoes have a big problem with the backswimmer, a bug that loves to munch on mosquito larvae. Scientists have known that when mosquitoes go searching for a breeding spot, they stay away from places where backswimmers thrive — because they sense the insect’s chemical signature. Researchers from the University of Haifa, with a team of other academic researchers, believe they have identified (and reproduced) the chemical compounds released by that mosquito predator.

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What’s the buzz? More natural mosquito repellents hitting the market

July 10th, 2009

Photo: CDC Public Health Image Library

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

Ahh, the sounds of summer. Birds chirping, food sizzling on the grill, the buzzing and buzzing and buzzing, the slapping, the spraying and, of course, the slamming of the back door as everyone races back inside.

Summer’s biggest bummer is that swarm of mosquitoes heading your way. As if their irritating blood-sucking isn’t bad enough, they can carry serious diseases.

Of the roughly 200 species of mosquitoes in the U.S., according to the fact-filled American Mosquito Control Association website, there are varieties that can transmit West Nile virus, malaria, dengue and Eastern Equine encephalitis.

There are lots of products on the market that promise to repel mosquitoes. The ones considered most effective, since 1957, contain the chemical DEET. It’s been approved by the EPA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control for use on anyone older than 2 months.

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Mosquitoes…Have to beat them, should you DEET them?

July 3rd, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

It comes up every summer, that pesty green quandary: Should you use strong chemicals like DEET to fend off the mosquitoes and ticks that can transmit the insidious Lyme Disease and the potentially deadly West Nile Virus?

We want to use less toxic protection, formulas that are based on natural ingredients or at least those that haven’t been shown to cause neurological damage (albeit in rare cases). Ironically, using DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) to protect against West Nile forces you to choose between potential rare neurological side effects. Will you overreact to DEET or be the unlucky one whose case of West Nile runs amok, producing neurological manifestations? Which raises the question — what are the odds?

Turns out you are more likely to get a severe case of West Nile than you are to have a bad reaction to DEET (and you can control that possibility with careful application). The Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 44 fatalities caused by West Nile in the US in 2008 from among the 687 cases in which the virus mushroomed into encephalitis or meningitis (meaning it induced swelling in the brain or spinal cord.)

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Countries to reduce reliance on DDT to fight malaria

May 7th, 2009

From Green Right Now Reports

For decades, relief work in Africa has fought a deadly disease with an environmentally deadly chemical, spraying with DDT to quell malarial outbreaks, even though world health agencies know that DDT has a devastating effect on the environment, killing wildlife and contaminating water supplies.

Today, the UN Agencies announced they will try to move 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, away from reliance on the persistent, toxic chemical by using other methods to fight mosquito-born malaria, which infects more than 250 million people a year, claiming 880,000 lives annually.

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Some kinder, gentler ways to deal with pesky bugs

May 4th, 2009

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

‘Tis the time of year for bugs to start bugging us. They may be creepy, or stingers, but most bugs and spiders serve a useful purpose in the environment. There are numerous devices now to help you trap and release wayward insects, indoors and out.

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