Page 55 - Aug2017

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AUGUST 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
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Citronella plant, citronella oil, citronella candles, and all things citronella
have become the most popular go-to products for outdoor mosquito
control.
Pelargonium Citrosum
is marketed as the “mosquito plant,” yet this plant
is not the plant that produces citronella oil at all, but rather a geranium
that is unrelated to the citronella plant. With a similar scent to that of
citronella, mosquitoes do rather enjoy alighting on this plant in watch for
a convenient victim to nibble, but citronella oil is actually extracted from
various species of lemongrass, a perennial clumping grass that can grow to
a height of six feet.
Two schools of thought theorize as to whether the plant or the oil is a
more effective mosquito repellant.
Research in North America has shown that citronella oil may be helpful,
and it is a registered insect repellant in the United States. However in
Europe, studies have failed to validate its effectiveness and the oil has
been banned as an insecticide.
As for the candles, studies claim that “the amount of oil in candles is
extremely small and citronella candles do not work any better than regular
candles—neither works well.”
Interesting Facts about Mosquitoes
Citronella
Mosquito Control or Myth?
Mosquitoes fly at one to one and a half miles
per hour making them one of the slowest
flying insects.
More deaths are caused by mosquitoes than
any other lethal creature from the spreading
of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow
fever, and encephalitis.
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors and
are most active at dawn and dusk.
The oldest known mosquito was found in a
fragment of amber from 79 million years ago.
Some research suggests that early explorers
who often encountered millions of mosquitoes
and black flies may have created a concoction
of bear grease and skunk urine to use as a
repellant; another source proposed necklaces
of spruce tree bows might have been useful.
Certain scents stun and confuse the
mosquito’s carbon dioxide sensors
(mints, fruits, chocolate)
Mosquitoes buzz around our ears,
attracted to our exhaling carbon dioxide
through our mouths and noses.
Female mosquitoes feed on animal
blood while the males gather nectar
from flowers.
Mosquitoes are especially attracted to
people with Type O blood.
A drop of saliva containing histamines is
secreted by the mosquito as she sucks
the blood, causing the familiar itching
sensation.
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Lemongrass
gm