August 12, 2001 |
For such a tiny insect, the mosquito provokes much annoyance and dread, especially among travelers. Some of the 2,500-plus species not only leave an irritating and itchy bite but also transmit a host of diseases, including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis. The lowly mosquito is dubbed "our most persistent and deadly foe" by Harvard scientist Andrew Spielman and reporter Michael D'Antonio, coauthors of "Mosquito" (Hyperion, $22.95), a recently released book on the bug.
May 9, 1993 |
This year might be itchier than usual for travelers throughout regions of the United States, according to entomologist Chester Moore, who works for the federal Centers for Disease Control in Ft. Collins, Colo. Blame it on the moisture left in the wake of the West's heavy winter rains and the East's heavy snows, which can provide ideal breeding grounds, especially for mosquitoes and ticks. Going abroad for pleasure or business travel won't solve the problem either, said Moore.
August 24, 2009 |
Which goes on first, insect repellent or sunscreen? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "sunscreens should be applied to the skin before insect repellents." But the CDC also advises not to use combination products containing repellents and sunscreens: "DEET-containing insect repellents may decrease the effectiveness of sunscreens, and sunscreens may increase absorption of DEET through the skin." We also discovered research demonstrating that DEET and the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone (benzophenone-3)
June 1, 2011 |
Consumers now have an array of "natural" insect repellents from which to choose. These are made from benign-sounding plant extracts or oils such as citronella oil, soybean oil, peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, lemon grass oil and geranium oil. What consumers don't always have is proof that they work. Many natural insect repellents, deemed "minimum-risk pesticides" by the Environmental Protection Agency, are exempt from safety testing because their active and inert ingredients have been deemed safe for the intended use. These ingredients have been used for long enough in consumer products that they're generally regarded as safe, says Scott Carroll, director of Carroll-Loye Biological Research Consulting, an independent company that does extensive testing on insect repellents.
June 18, 1991 |
In summer, the great outdoors can turn grim quickly when flies, mosquitoes and other pests decide to make your picnic or campground theirs. Folklore is filled with natural routes to debugging: Give up sugar and alcoholic beverages and you'll never be bugged again; smear yourself with garlic and watch ants and mosquitoes find someone less stinky to bite; mist thyme tea at your next picnic to keep flies away.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2005 |
West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found in pools of stagnant water in east Long Beach and Cerritos, the first group of insects with the virus discovered this year in Los Angeles County, officials said. A crow infected with the virus was found late last month near Cal State Long Beach.
August 28, 2001 |
Catnip, the stuff that drives felines wild, also appears to drive away mosquitoes, preliminary research suggests. Laboratory experiments at Iowa State University suggest that the oil in the catnip plant is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the chemical in many commercial insect repellents. The bigger question--at least for non-cat lovers--might be whether such a repellent would turn humans into cat magnets.
May 17, 1992 |
Where there's water, there are mosquitoes. Here's what five Los Angeles residents with experience in the matter recommend to ward them off: Bob Nemecek, fishing-boat rental agent. "I bought six mosquito fish recently for the fish pond outside my house. They're supposed to eat mosquito larvae, and they seem to work pretty well." Maria Ellingsen, actress. "I'm from Iceland, and I spend time there on something we call Mosquito Lake. I always take large doses of vitamin B. It really helps." Dr.
May 16, 2004 |
Entomologists hesitate to predict how bad mosquitoes and other pests will be this season for travelers headed to national parks, the coasts or other areas where bugs can be plentiful. That's because the proliferation of the pesky pests depends on rainfall and other factors. But on one point most bug experts agree: This year, California may be a prime target for West Nile virus, a disease transmitted when mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds bite humans.
June 6, 2005 |
It's hard to hide from mosquitoes. Short of staying indoors, the best way to protect against their irritating bites -- and the West Nile virus -- is by applying an insect repellent to your skin. But too few people bother. Nationwide, only about 40% of people routinely use mosquito repellent, data has shown; in Pacific states, such as California, usage is significantly lower, at 23%.