How geography affects the use of mosquito repellents

Wednesday, 19/10/2016

Mosquito repellents are products designed to mitigate or destruct or avoid mosquitoes from preying upon humans. The way the mosquitoes work is that they sense their prey through the body odour of humans. The mosquito repellents block this sense of the mosquitoes by diminishing the smell of the human body, in which case, a mosquito is not able to bite the humans.

Mosquito repellents come in various forms and sizes – coils, pumps, sprays, lotions, creams, oils, aerosol products, etc. The active ingredient works to keep the mosquitoes away, while other additional ingredients are used to either balance out chemicals or add to the product’s manufacturing and consuming scales. Many repellents do not actually kill mosquitoes but simply block their sense in a particular surface area.

1.The processes in which mosquito repellents work

Due to the sheer types of mosquito repellents there are, all work through different mechanisms to keep mosquitoes from biting. For example:

●Absorption: The creams, lotions and oils work by getting absorbed by the body and thus helping in blocking the mosquitoes’ sense of preying. This is because the product is used directly upon the skin.
●Chemical modification: Coils, pumps, sprays and other liquefied gas products modify the chemicals in the atmosphere to keep away the mosquitoes.
●Evaporation: Through the process of evaporation, mosquito repellents that come in the form of coils and aerosol products are able to mitigate or kill the mosquitoes.

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SOURCE- usnews.com

2.Factors that affect mosquitoes from repelling

There are a host of other factors through which mosquitoes respond to various kinds of repellent stimuli. These include the following:

●Humidity and climate changes: Humidity is a major factor in determining the breeding of mosquitoes in a particular place.Higher the humidity, more the mosquitoes.


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SOURCE- scied.ucar.edu

●Light: Light is another factor because it attracts mosquitoes. Ever seen tiny organisms surrounding street lights on night roads?
●Temperature: Certain temperatures help in the increase of mosquitoes, while others form conditions in which the mosquitoes cannot survive. Tropical countries and areas closer to the equator have higher numbers of mosquitoes than countries close to the poles.
●Dosage of mosquito repellent: If the dosage of mosquito repellent is high, it is quite plausible that the number of mosquitoes in such an environment or atmospheric condition would be less. Inversely, if the dosage is less, the number of mosquitoes visible would be drastically more in comparison.
●Exposure to dosage: The exposure time to the dosage of any mosquito repellent is also a significant factor in determining the presence or mitigation of mosquitoes. While some types of repellents have mechanisms and formulations that make them effective on a quick basis, other types of products take time before they can prove to be effective. For example, aerosol
mosquito repellents work in quicker ways than coils.
●Larval nutrition: According to the availability of nutrition for the larvae in the surroundings, the growth of the larvae gets directly proportional. The more the nutrition available for it, the more it would breed. Certain geographic locations are more adept with larval nutrition.


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SOURCE- epa.gov

●Availability of carbohydrates for mosquitoes: Mosquitoes require carbohydrates for their survival and preying, especially the adult mosquitoes. Through the consumption of carbohydrates, they are able to feed and prey upon humans.
●Seasonal changes: Seasonal changes exhibit a huge potency for the development of mosquitoes in huge scales. The monsoon season, especially, provides for the most rapid growth in the number of mosquitoes. This is because of the presence of stagnant water everywhere.
●Geographic diversity: This refers to the distinction between coastal areas, mountainous regions, forests, arid lands, plateaus etc. Various kinds of geographical patterns produce different species of mosquitoes that inhibit spreading of different diseases, epidemics, plagues, viruses etc.

3.Mosquito repellents in diversified geographic locations

Mosquito repellents work differently because of all the aforementioned factors that influence the growth and presence of mosquitoes. In areas and conditions where more number of mosquitoes breed freely, repellents have to be used in larger quantities and doses. Their formulations differ from areas where less quantity is required. In this way, geographical factors are a major source of influence in the way mosquito repellents work.