Summer insect, the mosquito is the cause of irritating bites and in some cases can transmit diseases. There is a real arsenal to combat them, but not all methods are equally effective.
With the return of the heat each year comes the season of mosquitoes, their nocturnal buzzes, their bites and all the annoyances that follow. To fight this insect, an arsenal of means is available in pharmacies or even in the section of new technologies, but in most, not all products are equally effective in repelling this individual.
Furthermore, “some measures are isolated and are not 100% effective. This is the number of individual and collective actions that reduce the name of mustaches, leur circulation and the name of infections that transmit”, souligne l’ Health Insurance.
• Effective skin repellants
The best known ways to fight mosquitoes are creams or sprays with repellent properties, designed to drive away these insects that can transmit dengue, chikungunya and zika.
It is “recommended to use skin repellents on bare parts of the body to protect yourself during the day or night,” explains Health Insurance. To be effective, these products must contain DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide) – contraindicated in pregnant women and children under two years of age – or IR3535 which “can be used in children from 6 months of age or in pregnant women but at lower concentrations.
Magazine What to choose He also points out that it is difficult to know the effectiveness of a product before its application, because it depends on its composition. He notes, however, that “the most effective mosquito repellents are based on DEET in concentrations of 25%, 30%, or even 50%.”
Since these products are toxic in high doses, Ameli’s site advises choosing spray repellents instead of “cream or lotion repellents, due to the risk of inhalation or ingestion during application,” and avoiding any application on wounds or irritations.
“The application on the face must be done without direct application,” Vidal also emphasizes, and for the product to be effective, “application must be preferred in the morning and at night, periods in which the insect vectors of diseases are the most active.
The duration of these protections on the skin fluctuates “according to their concentration of active substances,” writes Ameli. “It varies from 4 to 8 hours,” writes the PACA Regional Health Agency, noting that “the application must be renewed after swimming.”
• A mosquito net to keep the insect away
These nets with very small holes make it possible to create a protective bubble without having to resort to chemical products. L’Assurance Maladie recommends installing them on doors, windows and other entrances, but also on beds and cots.
The city of Strasbourg has also distributed mosquito nets to certain inhabitants, which are placed over the water points of the gardens, to prevent mosquitoes, in particular the tiger mosquito, from laying eggs there, because their larvae develop in stagnant water.
It is also recommended to wear clothing that covers to avoid bites on the arms and legs.
For even more effective protection, Ameli recommends impregnating nets with insecticides, “permethrin or a combination of deltamethrin + transtetramethrin.”
• Insecticides to eliminate them
Insecticides are not meant to repel mosquitoes or keep them away, but to kill them.
What to choose highlights the “terrible effectiveness” of these sprays, explaining that “in the labels, in the ‘composition’ section, chemical substances of the pyrethroid family can be identified by their name that ends in ‘-thrin’ (transfluthrin, tetramethrin .. . )”. However, the magazine recalls that these products “use active substances that are harmful to health, so they should be used in moderation.”
In the same category, plug-in electric diffusers aren’t always effective according to the magazine, “plus they spread insecticide continuously, we breathe it in all night.”
The Health Insurance site also cites the less important but existing efficacy “of electric rackets inside homes,” “air conditioning and ventilation that also reduce the risk of bites,” and “mosquito coils or ‘streamers’.” smoke’ outside or on the terraces”. “.
• Mosquito traps installed in cities
Several cities have installed mosquito traps in public outdoor areas, which come in different shapes but reproduce the same system: attract the mosquito and trap it.
These terminals “will simulate the breathing of a human being because it is the main point of attraction for the mosquito,” Pierre Bellagambi, president and CEO of QISTA, which manufactures one of these terminals, explained in June at BFM Marseille. According to him, they can catch from 200 to more than 7,000 mosquitoes per day in areas where there are many.
“Our machine will emit the same molecules as you and I when we are active, and when the female mosquito is close she will be attracted” and trapped in the object, which “will prevent her from laying her two hundred eggs every 48 hours”. , she explains, emphasizing that it is “a complementary tool to traditional methods, its advantage is that it is constantly outside”.
Either What to choose points out the effectiveness of systems of this type aimed at individuals in order to “reduce the population” of mosquitoes, the magazine specifies that “the female mosquitoes will always go first to people to feed on blood than to the trap”.
• Prevention to prevent proliferation
The health authorities insist a lot that in order to avoid the proliferation of mosquitoes in a place, the source must be attacked. “It is important to cover, throw away and empty all containers that may contain water,” stresses the Ain prefecture, because it is there that the females lay eggs and the larvae develop.
“Saucers, vases, and buckets should be emptied once a week, and pot saucers should be filled with moist sand. These simple actions can effectively reduce the risk of mosquitoes near your home”, explains the prefecture.
The “mosquito likes to lay eggs in very small and humid places”, explains Alsace Françoise Schaetzel, vice president of the Strasbourg Eurometropolis, to BFM, who calls for “raising awareness of what is called good gestures”.
In Wantzenau (Bas-Rhin), the mayor explained last summer to BFMTV that the city was enabling, in parallel to solutions such as mosquito traps, “bat areas”, and was doing a “more massive reintroduction of swallows”. These two animals are mosquito predators, which would also reduce the population of this insect on the site upstream.
• What does not work at all
In its list of products to fight mosquitoes, the Health Insurance also points out several methods that do not work at all to avoid mosquito bites: ultrasound devices, “insecticide-free tapes, papers and adhesive stickers”, “anti-insect bracelets against mosquitoes”. and ticks”, essential oils -which have an “effectiveness generally less than 20 minutes”-, vitamin B1 and homeopathy.
“With the exception of citriodiol, we must give up all natural products of plant origin, whether extracts, essential oils or lemongrass: they do not protect,” he writes for his part. What to choose.
It is also important to remember that it is not a question of defeating all mosquitoes, of eliminating them completely, but of keeping them away or regulating their population to avoid bites that can transmit diseases. As a reminder, the mosquito has an important place in the food chain and serves as food for many species, such as fish and birds.
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