What Smells Do Chicago Mosquitoes Hate?

A mosquito biting human skin
Everyone hates mosquitoes, but some people hate bug repellent even more. With a nation-wide rise in popularity for homeopathic methods, some people have been turning to things like essential oils and candles to ease their mosquito woes. So, which smells do mosquitoes hate the most, and how effective can they actually be as repellents?

Mosquitoes Found In Chicago

There are over 60 different species of mosquitoes found in Chicago alone, but surprisingly enough, not all mosquitoes prefer human blood. There are three species in particular that do, though, and they're incredibly prevalent in Chicago:

  • Culex or House Mosquito – between ¼ and 3/8 of an inch long, their coloring varies as they're mostly gray, with white, green, blue, or silver scales
  • Tree Hole Mosquito – roughly 1/8 of an inch long, with black legs, head, and proboscis, and black and silvery-white striped bodies
  • Asian Tiger Mosquito – ¼ of an inch long with black and white stripes all over body and legs

For such tiny insects, mosquitoes are actually incredibly dangerous; in fact, they're at the top of the leaderboard for most dangerous animals in the world. Mosquitoes are responsible for over one million deaths annually, and it's all because of their affinity to transmit harmful diseases and pathogens such as malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and several different strains of encephalitis.

Fragrances And Methods: Which Ones Work, And Which Ones Don't?

A lot of speculation revolves around the effectiveness of essential oils and fragrances. While some methods have been touted as extremely useful, others have been proven to be largely ineffective and even somewhat harmful as mosquito repellents. For example, citronella is a potent essential oil, but citronella oil lamps and candles rarely ever work, as the scent is usually whisked away on the breeze. Inhaling burning citronella oil is also pretty dangerous for the lungs.

There have been many scientific studies on essential oils and their effectiveness against insects. While some have been proven useful, beware; most essential oils can cause some pretty nasty reactions in large quantities, and the incorrect mixture could prove completely useless or cause a lot of physical problems:

  • Citronella
  • Lemon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Cedar
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

These scents have been proven to show effectiveness for up to two hours after application. Still, essential oils are dangerous in large quantities, and most of them are incredibly toxic to animals as well. Some adverse reactions in humans include skin irritation, rashes, irritated eyes and lungs, asthma complications, and difficulty breathing. Adverse reactions in animals are much more severe, and it's always best to consult a veterinarian to be on the safe side.

Should You Depend On Essential Oils To Keep The Mosquitoes Away?

The short answer is no; mosquitoes are incredibly dangerous insects and every known precaution should be used to combat an infestation. These precautions include pouring out any outside receptacles that regularly collect water, ensuring your lawn has properly draining soil and turf, and keeping any food sources off of your property by implementing tight-fitting trash can lids and proper food safety. Sometimes, though, even the best precautions can't completely guard your home against dangerous infestations, and in those cases it's always best to call in the professionals.

Our pest professionals at Aerex Pest Control understand how annoying and dangerous mosquito infestations on your Chicago property can be. We use only the highest quality pest control products and techniques available, and we're so dedicated to complete customer satisfaction, we've implemented a 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you're still experiencing pest problems after we've treated, we come right back out and treat again at no cost. So get in contact with us today to discuss your pest control options.

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