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There are 40 different species of mosquitoes in Finland
There are 40 different species of mosquitoes or in Finland. Three of these species bother people the most. These are the magic mosquito, the forest mosquito and the raven mosquito. The most common species in Lapland is the magic mosquito. The populations of forest and raven mosquitoes, on the other hand, vary and it is not possible to locate them in the same way in certain habitats.
Do mosquitoes bite or sting?
In Finland, interactions with mosquitoes are generally called both bites and stings. Officially, bite would be the correct term here. “Stinging” means injecting venom with an organ developed for this purpose, such as a wasp or scorpion sting. “Biting,” in turn, means using mouthpieces to penetrate the skin with or without venom.
Mosquitoes do not have a sting, but a syringe-like part of the mouth that pierces the skin and through which the mosquito feeds. Although the mouth part is not technically “biting”, the mosquito bites a human for the purpose of feeding.
How mosquitoes detect humans?
Mosquitoes find their prey, in this case humans on the basis of the heat we transmit and the carbon dioxide we emit. There may also be differences in people’s “suitability for prey,” as some of us have stronger secretions related to the superficial bloodstream than others. Because of this, mosquitoes may be much more interested in you than, say, the person standing next to you.
Recent studies have also found out that some people secrete into their skin a substance that mutes receptors that help a mosquito find a human.
A common misconception about mosquito attacks is that mosquito bites can be prevented by killing as many mosquitoes as possible. Rather, constant fluttering brings more mosquitoes to attack. This is due to sweating caused by moving. In order to get rid of mosquitoes, it may be more useful to just stay still and wait.
Mosquito bite can be painful
Various studies have shown that there can also be a significant difference in mosquito bites. This may be due to the presence or absence of anesthetic in the saliva of mosquitoes. In Finland, the bites of certain types of mosquitoes have been found to be more painful than others, and this is probably due to the fact that mosquito saliva does not necessarily contain a substance that numbs the skin, but instead the bite is applied to humans as such.
The itchy bangs and rash caused by mosquito bites, in turn, do not depend on the mosquito itself, but on how a person’s own body responds to the bite. Some people have a stronger allergic reaction than others.
The comforting information about mosquito bites is that it is possible to get used to the bites with so called intolerance treatment. Our body’s defense system adapts to foreign matter coming through mosquito saliva. At the same time, the reaction following the injection is also milder. Thus, it is possible that bites that seem completely intolerable in early summer will begin to be much easier to ignore close to autumn.
In the world, mosquitoes carry many dangerous communicable diseases, the best known of which is probably Malaria. Fortunately, in Finland, mosquitoes have not been found to carry diseases that are dangerous to humans. Allergic reactions caused by bites can be alleviated with cetirizine antihistamine or by applying a mild cortisone lotion to the bite area.
How to get rid of mosquitoes?
So how do you get rid of mosquitoes? In this section, in addition to my own search skills, I also always used the Facebook group of people living in Ranua that always offers very valuable information.
- If possible, getting rid of mosquitoes should start with your own yard’s design. You should try to make the yard as open as possible. Mosquitoes don’t like windy places, because due to their light structure they cannot fly well in the wind. So make sure your yard is as windy as possible. Another point to consider are shadows, which serve as good resting places for mosquitoes. It is therefore worth getting rid of extra plants and bushes.
- Another good idea is to keep the yard area as dry as possible. Mosquito females lay eggs in standing water, so small puddles that provide such an opportunity should be dried. It is worth remembering to empty the buckets of water under the gutters if you do not want to provide mosquitoes with ideal conditions for reproduction. Indoors, mosquito reproduction can be prevented by dropping a drop or two of dishwashing detergent into still water, which removes the surface tension of the water. A mosquito that lands in the water does not stay on the surface of the water, but sinks and drowns in a container.
Bird- and bathouses in the yard. Of the birds, swallows in particular are effective mosquito traps. Petri Manninen, who works as a professional fisherman in lake Simojärvi in Ranua, has set up numerous birdhouses specifically for swallows in the fishing port of Simojärvi.
Last summer, 8 to 9 pairs of swallows made sure that there was no need to take care of mosquitoes, nor gadlfies in the fishing harbor.
In addition to birdhouses, Manninen tends to raise flies in a large trash can, which are released when the swallows arrive in spring. Swallows clear flies in 2-3 days and at the same time fill their nutritional deficit caused by migration. Matti Marttila, who lives in Simojärvi, relies on buttercups and Matti Rintala has his confidence on bats.
- Mosquito repellents. For example, mosquito fumes burned on the table and mosquito repellents applied to the skin are effective in terms of repelling mosquitoes. One repellent found to be effective and less well known is tar oil, which is generated as a by-product of tar combustion. Because of the strong scent of the oil, it can be a good idea to mix the oil with regular cooking oil, which dilutes the odor. In Aamulehti’s mosquito repellent test, tar oil was also found to be comparable to the traditional OFF, which is probably the most popular mosquito repellent sold in Finland.
In the Facebook group of Ranua Irma Ziemer, on the other hand told that she relies on good-smelling coconut oil. I on the other hand swear by the name of the Thermacell mosquito repellent that works with gas.
- Of the plants found in Finnish nature, marsh bream, mint and sweet gale have been found to be effective both in preventing mosquito bites and in mitigating the consequences.
It is possible to extract your own mosquito toxin from marsh beam, but it is good to keep in mind that the plant is actually toxic.
- Buy or build your own mosquito trap. Different mosquito traps work on the same principle as different insect lamps, i.e. the purpose of the trap is to attract the mosquito to a place where it also dies. Mosquito traps produce carbon dioxide, moisture and heat that attract mosquitoes. It is a good idea to place your mosquitoes, for example, 10 to 20 meters from the place, where you will be spending time.
- Let the mosquito bite in early summer. This increases tolerance, which means that in late summer the mosquito bites no longer itch as much as at the beginning of the mosquito season in May-June.
However, the solution is not entirely certain, as this means works mainly when talking about one and a certain place where a certain species of mosquito also occurs. If you move to another place during the summer, there may be different species of mosquitoes there and, in addition, a different species of mosquitoes may already occur in the same places in late summer.
Are there any other ways you can get rid of mosquitoes? Send us your own tips via the contact form below.
Sources: Ilta-Sanomat, Yle