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#1 vahe

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:39 AM

I observe from our backyard in Houston, the mosquito situation has essentially put a complete stop to astronomy, I can not stay outdoors for more than minute, they are eating me alive.
Going beyond the sprays and long sleeve clothing, I have a question, I see that there are mosquito control devices for sale in $200 to $500 range with the claim that these devices clear up a good size area.
Has anyone tried these devices, do they really work? Are they effective? Any recommendations?
Unless I come up with a solution there will be no more astronomy for me.

Vahe

#2 Rick M.

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:43 AM

I have used a Mosquito Magnet. The trick is getting the positioning correct (it attracts the skitters using carbon dioxide and chemicals found in skin, then it traps them). It will thin your population out dramatically.

#3 Sorny

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:04 AM

If it isn't windy, get a thermacell. Fire it up, outside, 15 minutes before you want to go outside. You'll see them flying around about 10-15' from where the thermacell is and fly right back out of the "bubble" it makes.

#4 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:11 AM

+1 on ThermaCell, you can get a lantern and refills at Home Depot. I used to get, no joke, 25-30 mosquito bites per session. Let the TermaCell burn for 10-15 minutes prior and you're good to go. It has no smell and is safe for animals and children. It creates a 15x15 foot "bubble" around you, given no wind. One of the best investments i've made in this hobby. :waytogo:

#5 obin robinson

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:52 AM

I observe from our backyard in Houston, the mosquito situation has essentially put a complete stop to astronomy, I can not stay outdoors for more than minute, they are eating me alive.
Going beyond the sprays and long sleeve clothing, I have a question, I see that there are mosquito control devices for sale in $200 to $500 range with the claim that these devices clear up a good size area.
Has anyone tried these devices, do they really work? Are they effective? Any recommendations?
Unless I come up with a solution there will be no more astronomy for me.

Vahe


Ditto here in League City. They are making astronomy impossible. I am going to try a fan though and see if it works. I'll report back if it does. Otherwise most of my sessions involve smacking mosquitos off my face for 15 minutes then giving up.

obin :foreheadslap:

#6 panhard

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:05 AM

Thermocell is the way I go.

#7 Qwickdraw

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

+1 on ThermaCell, you can get a lantern and refills at Home Depot. I used to get, no joke, 25-30 mosquito bites per session. Let the TermaCell burn for 10-15 minutes prior and you're good to go. It has no smell and is safe for animals and children. It creates a 15x15 foot "bubble" around you, given no wind. One of the best investments i've made in this hobby. :waytogo:


Even if there is a slight draft or breeze, position it upwind accordingly and it will still be somewhat effective.

#8 Eric63

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

Yep...another here in favour of the Thermacell. When Mosquitoes are really bad in May and June, I use two of them. One near my scope and one near the little camping table I use.

Also, during set up I wear a bug mesh jacket (and mask) and I always wear long pants with socks. I remove the jacket after the Thermacell has kicked in.

Eric

#9 iverp

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:19 PM

Here is a thread on Mosquitos from July:
www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5953917/page/0/view...

#10 Duplin

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:43 PM

Thermacell. I live in Eastern North Carolina and it's been WET this summer. Hence, clouds of mosquitos. I was using about 1/3 can of Deet spray each outing...and I came to really hate the stuff. I read about Thermacell on the CN forums and decided to take a chance even though I was somewhat sceptical. Well, it worked. In three nights I was bitten exactly zero times. No more DEET!

#11 coopman

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:05 AM

I have not been bitten in three YEARS of Thermacell use.

#12 BrettG

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:19 AM

I may have to look into this Thermacell for general use as well as astro use, sounds promising. Thanks all!

#13 Michael Rapp

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 01:36 PM

I'll give another Houston report. I'm about 20 miles from Galveston. Absolutely, late August and September mosquitos are crazy. Within moments of going outside, one is being eaten alive...repeatedly and all at once!

I also use the Themacell. Where it shines for me is that I can use it and not have to take a shower after observing to get all the Deep Woods OFF spray off me before going to bed. The trick is to put it outside on your observing table about 15 minutes before you go outside. It does take a bit for the stuff to get the in air and be effective.

And no kidding about mosquitos putting a stop to astronomy. Below is a copy of my most recent observing log. Note the number of objects viewed and the reason!!

Attached Files



#14 Starlon

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

I've seen 2 dead pigeons & reported that to the county.

http://kptv.memberce...-rain-may-br...

So far this year, there have been 16 confirmed cases and two confirmed deaths blamed on the West Nile virus in Maricopa County.


Fogging: http://www.maricopa.gov/wnv/

They will be worse in a couple of weeks, hope my Thermacell keeps them at bay, now that the skies have cleared.

#15 tomcody

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

For your yard, nothing beats a propane powered fogger. I use a Black Flag fogger, about $60 at the home supply stores, as needed the day of or day before observing. Supplement the yard spray with a personal protection device and you should be good to go. Note, the fogger works the same way as the ones municipalities use and is very effective, but one trick to using it, make sure to run the fogger (by run I mean have it turned on and red hot) for three minutes before spraying and three minutes after finishing spraying, this is to keep the fogger nozzle from clogging up, for warmup and clean out faze, just let it sit on the ground, turned on for the three minutes.
P.S. for personal protection, I use the OFF unit the one with a small fan and replaceable insecticide packs.
Rex

#16 obin robinson

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:31 AM

I'll give another Houston report. I'm about 20 miles from Galveston. Absolutely, late August and September mosquitos are crazy.


I am only a few minutes away from you. Have you taken steps in your yard to mitigate mosquitos? My mom helped us to do some landscaping that put a big dent in our mosquito population this year. We planted herbs that the mosquitos hate the scent of. We also removed most of the standing water and helped the drainage on the property as well. It made a huge difference.

obin :)

#17 Carol L

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:50 AM

For your yard, nothing beats a propane powered fogger. I use a Black Flag fogger, about $60 at the home supply stores, as needed the day of or day before observing. Supplement the yard spray with a personal protection device and you should be good to go. Note, the fogger works the same way as the ones municipalities use and is very effective, but one trick to using it, make sure to run the fogger (by run I mean have it turned on and red hot) for three minutes before spraying and three minutes after finishing spraying, this is to keep the fogger nozzle from clogging up, for warmup and clean out faze, just let it sit on the ground, turned on for the three minutes.
P.S. for personal protection, I use the OFF unit the one with a small fan and replaceable insecticide packs.
Rex


I've been hesitant to get one because of online consumer complaints regarding the clogging issue - thanks for the solution, Rex! :)

#18 Michael Rapp

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:26 AM

We planted herbs that the mosquitoes hate the scent of. We also removed most of the standing water and helped the drainage on the property as well. It made a huge difference.


I had never thought of that! I'll look around for some of those plants. I've also tried to be mindful of the standing water. I've got a few bins that the outdoor cats use for beds, but when it rains they collect quite a bit of water.

Don't know if you've seen this, but it gives the mosquito spray schedule for Galveston county. We're LC (League City) and WLC (West League City) on the calendar. http://www.co.galves...yschedules2.htm

(Yes, everyone, mosquitoes are so bad down here we have a government office dedicated to controlling them!)

#19 csrlice12

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:51 AM

Maybe if we turn the tables and start eating mosquitos...maybe mash'em up into protein bars...

#20 Qwickdraw

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

Maybe if we turn the tables and start eating mosquitos...maybe mash'em up into protein bars...


As much as we hate the little critters they are a food source for many animals which we eat or one or two sources removed.

#21 jeff heck

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:55 PM

I have no problem using the Off Deep Woods product, they may buzz but will not land.
I am hesitant on the using a Thermacell. I am worried it may leave a layer of film or haze on my mirrors and ep's. I realize many people love them and report no issues but there must be something hovering in the area. Maybe try putting a running unit in a box with a clear drinking glass for a few hours and see the results.

#22 csrlice12

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:07 PM

Maybe if we turn the tables and start eating mosquitos...maybe mash'em up into protein bars...


As much as we hate the little critters they are a food source for many animals which we eat or one or two sources removed.


To mosquitos, WE are no more then a buffet....those aliens with the cookbook on that "Twilight Zone" episode....skeeter people..... :lol:

#23 Susan H

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:28 PM

We use OFF clipons. The skeeters buzz us, but don't lite. Before we start observing we light a citronella candle then blow it out when we are ready to start viewing. :cool:

#24 Kfrank

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:44 PM

I have no problem using the Off Deep Woods product, they may buzz but will not land.
I am hesitant on the using a Thermacell. I am worried it may leave a layer of film or haze on my mirrors and ep's. I realize many people love them and report no issues but there must be something hovering in the area. Maybe try putting a running unit in a box with a clear drinking glass for a few hours and see the results.


Personally, I'd rather avoid any kind of solution that requires applying a layer or film of pesticide on ME.

I'v e used Thermacells with no problems and great success, as have many others. I'll stick with it.

As a point of interest, I don't observe in a closed box ( it obstructs the view of the sky ) so the test you propose would prove nothing.

#25 obin robinson

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

I had never thought of that! I'll look around for some of those plants. I've also tried to be mindful of the standing water. I've got a few bins that the outdoor cats use for beds, but when it rains they collect quite a bit of water.

Don't know if you've seen this, but it gives the mosquito spray schedule for Galveston county. We're LC (League City) and WLC (West League City) on the calendar. http://www.co.galves...yschedules2.htm

(Yes, everyone, mosquitoes are so bad down here we have a government office dedicated to controlling them!)


I've seen those trucks spraying for mosquitos at night. It sounds like a mini dirt bike driving around. For the plants check this out:

http://wwwhibiscusan...ent-plants.html

We have catnip, rosemary, and basil plants in the backyard. Our cats LOVE the natural catnip too. We make pesto with the basil, and the rosemary gets used with grilled chicken.

To mitigate mosquito egglaying we dug around the base of the plants in our side yard. We then threw some bricks into the ground, tossed mulch on top of it, then sodded over it. It helped with the drainage A LOT. After that we sprayed the lawn with a natural mosquito repellant. I won't say we eliminated them but we have significantly less than last year. The fact that we can eat the herbs is a bonus. I think we spent a grand total of $100 on absolutely everything. Big Lots was the source for the plant pots and potting soil.

For the outdoor cats make sure they get fresh water often. Empty the bowls and clean them every day or so. This will also force you to monitor for mosquitos that may lay eggs in the water.

Good luck!

obin :)






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