Mosquitoes  

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br1k
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What's happened with mosquitoes? All month was nice - not too many of them, and then since yesterday it's like they all sprung up out of nowhere. Can't stay on the balcony anymore. Is this how it's going to be the rest of the winter?

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pamela
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We had A LOT of rain recently. Check around your place and make sure there is no standing water in containers, planters, etc. It's bug spray time!

Pamela

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CAtoSTX
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We've been here for just over a week and keep hearing "this is the worst it's been" but I think the place we are staying at is particularly buggy, can't wait to move in a couple of weeks.
They always seem to attach 1/2 a couple... so it's me and not my husband.

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pamela
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Despite starting a controversy, I have only one word for you - DEET!

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CAtoSTX
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I've got Off, Mosquito Coils, Avon Skin-so-soft (spf with bug stuff) - I'm not messing around!

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dougtamjj
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This is the worst I have ever seen and the only thing that is working is deet and lots of it.

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br1k
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I hate DEET. If the choice is being inside behind the netting or outside covered in disgusting oily chemical, I'd rather be inside.
I suppose then we just have to wait till this bastards suck enough blood and choke on it.

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dougtamjj
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I hate deet as well and we resisted using it when we first moved here. Our then 2 year old son was covered with bites. Every night we would put peroxide and neosporin and bandaids on every bite. Now that he is 6 and we have been here a few years he doesn't get bit as much now but the risk of dengue fever is much worse than the deet. It is really bad right now and I would use the deet. You get used to it after a while. When someone tells me I smell good I reply, "Oh, you like the smell of sweat and deet"?

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Exit Zero
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Mosquito coils outside-- and -- electric paddles and screens inside - Avon Sin so soft instead of Deet - really go around the property and make sure you have no standing water in buckets,tires,planters etc.- check the gutters too - close the closets and hampers - use a cover over your sheets when you are not in bed - don't leave worn or sweaty clothing out.

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fdr
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I second Exit Zero's mention of Avon Skin-So-Soft -- works great. We always get a bloom 2-3 days after a heavy rain, and November is one of the rainiest months down here -- no surprise it's skeeter season. I also agree with Tammy that DEET is way better than risking dengue fever -- look it up, read the side-effects, and then reconsider!! It is no joke; ask any local who has lived through it.

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Neil
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The electric "Jolt" racquet is my friend.
Quite fun too.
I fry and/or explode about a dozen mosquitos a day.

We bought one of those "No-Squitos" machines at Gallows Bay Hardware.
Has a blacklight and a fan that sucks them into a chamber.
Great for attracting moths (didn't know we had that many!) but only a few squitos.

What I want to know is how do they get inside the house?

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Tippi
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Mosquitoes follow your trail of CO2 when you go in and out your door!

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CAtoSTX
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The place we are are renting only has screens on a couple of windows and those screens are broken and full of holes.

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Prefer2sail
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The place we are are renting only has screens on a couple of windows and those screens are broken and full of holes.

Ditto.

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Linda J
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You need to speak to the landlord. Screens here are a necessity. If you're rent is very very low and the landlord doesn't want to fix the screens, pay for it yourself. If the rent is market rate, demand that he fix the screens.

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syzygy
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Your absolutely correct Tippi. And there is an effective mosquito trap that works on that principle. It uses a low level flame from propane to attract them with CO2 and heat into the trap. I have personally seen this work so well that it would fill a gallon sack every one or two nights from the yard. And that's a bunch of skeeters. LOL . A bit pricey though at around $300 per set up.

I was wondering. Does the islands have any bats? If so I know that programs that did strategic bat house placements have worked quite well in some areas. It works on the principle that bats consume huge numbers of mosquitoes each night.

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Trade
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Yes, there are lots of bats. You usually see them just after sunset.

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Trade
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From VINow:

Bats
Bats are said to be the only animal that is native to the Virgin Islands. Bats can be found in caves in less populated areas of the islands and are sometimes spotted flying at night. It is not uncommon for several dozen bats to roosts together in a cave. They are primarily insect eaters and nectar drinkers however there is a fisherman!

The fisherman bat is a threatened species in the Virgin Islands. The bat roosts in caves near the sea, woodlands and in roofs of old houses. Through the use of echolocation or sonar, the bat detects ripples caused by fish swimming close to the water’s surface and uses it’s long, curved claws to catch them, thus the name fishermen bat. They are good swimmers and they use their wings as oars. The species' numbers have greatly declined because of coastal development.

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CAtoSTX
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The place we're in right now is just a Vacation Rental - 2 more weeks and we move into a place with more screens, less water, less shrubbery, etc.
I can't really make demands out of a vacation rental but this place needs some work. If I were actually using it as a vacation unit, I'd be pretty pissed off -but I think we're finding the "issues" because we are settled in more than we would be on a vacation.

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syzygy
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That is good news Trade. The insect consuming species may help keep mosquito populations in check if the local government could be persuaded to encourage bat nesting using bat houses.

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Trade
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I think there was somebody on island a while back who was building bat houses. I see them swooping from my deck every evening.

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fdr
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Anyone interested in learning more about bats and bat houses in the USVI, you can contact Renata Platenberg, wildlife biologist at the Division of Fish and Wildlife on STT, vi.wildlife @ gmail.com. She had a whole month's focus on it in October, I think.

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newarrival
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The mosquitoes are atrocious right now. I love the Jolt. Can't wait for the winds and dry weather to kick in!

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Neil
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I think there was somebody on island a while back who was building bat houses. I see them swooping from my deck every evening.

I lived for a short while at a house on the SW shore where we had LOTS of bats.
Didn't help the mosquito problem, but created a BIG Bat Poop Problem.
And once Bat Poop gets on concrete, even a powerwasher has a hard time getting the stain off.

The island obviously needs "fogged."
Maybe that would fill the potholes with mosquitos, and the bat poop would cement them in.

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SkysTheLimit
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Bat poop removal trick.
Apply a small piece of wet paper towel to the location. Let it soak and "hydrate" for about 10 minutes. Voila.......comes right off.

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