Mosquito Control Products
Since mosquitoes and other annoying insects often prevent outdoor enjoyment,
it may be tempting to simply spray your property with chemical pesticides
and install bug-zappers to deal with the problem. However, some mosquito
control products can contain potentially harmful chemicals that can contaminate
air and water, causing more harm than good.
Chemicals in Mosquito Control Products
A pesticide is used to harm or kill a particular pest. Certain kinds of
pesticides are released into the air to kill adult mosquitoes, while others
are used in water to kill mosquito larvae and pupae (mosquito eggs). The
pesticides that are used to kill mosquitoes in the beginning stages of
life are called larvicides.
Pesticides and larvicides not only contain active ingredients
designed to kill a targeted pest, but they also have inert ingredients
that can be toxic or carcinogenic. There are 3700 “inert”
chemicals that can be legally concealed in mosquito control products.
Although many are deemed safe for the general population, the tests on
these products often focus on the acute effects on humans and animals,
and not on the chronic effects. Furthermore, researchers study the effects
of a single chemical (not the effects of multiple combinations of chemicals)
on healthy individuals exposed to the chemical over a short period of
time (not over a long period of time).
Numerous health hazards are associated with exposure to pesticides:
- Increased risk of leukemia
- Certain forms of cancers (brain, lung, testicular, lymphoma)
- Decreased fertility
- decreased sperm count
- Immune system disturbances such as asthma and allergies
Those who are worried about exposure to chemical-laden
mosquito control products such as pesticides
and larvicides sometimes choose to install bug
zappers on their property to rid themselves
of annoying pests. Mosquitoes are attracted
to the light of the bug zapping device which
is designed to electrocute insects that attempt
to land on it.
Although the machine does not involve the spraying of chemicals,
it does have its disadvantages:
- It has the potential to lure an even greater number of mosquitoes
into your yard
- It only attracts the male mosquito and not the female. The female,
being the only one that bites, is attracted to humans and not light.
It searches for warmth and carbon dioxide, neither of which is emitted
by bug zappers.
- It can interfere with the many other species of beneficial insects
that reside in your area and create an undesirable effect on the general
environment as many birds prey on mosquitoes and insects for food.
- When a bug is “zapped”, its body explodes into many pieces,
freeing potential bacteria that, as some studies have suggested, can
be harmful for humans when inhaled.
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