Mücken, Gelsen, Moskitos und Co. – alles zu Verbreitung, Risiken und Abwehr - IREPELL

Mosquitoes, Gels, and More – Everything About Spread, Risks, and Defense

Summer evenings on the terrace, a leisurely picnic in the park or a well-deserved holiday by the lake – at the latest when dusk sets in, a quiet but unmistakable whirring sounds in the air. Mosquitoes, gels, mosquitoes and the like can quickly spoil a balmy summer evening. Not only their stings, but especially the pathogens they transmit make them a serious threat to our health.

In order to fight mosquitoes effectively, you first have to get a brief overview of the animals – true to the motto "Know your enemy". This post will help you with that! We discuss general characteristics of mosquitoes, what attracts them, and how to expel them without fragrances and other chemical agents.

Mosquitoes – definition, characteristics and relatives

Mosquitoes belong to the order of the two-winged insects (Diptera) and include a variety of species that are common worldwide. The most famous mosquito species are the mosquitoes (Culicidae), which suck blood through their biting-sucking mouthpieces.

Mosquito species such as the common mosquito (Culex pipiens) or the Anopheles mosquito, which can transmit malaria, are particularly notorious. In addition to the mosquitoes, there are also sugar mosquitoes (Chironomidae), which do not require blood meals, and tickle mosquitoes (Simuliidae), which also suck blood, but are less well known.

Typical features of mosquitoes are their slim physique, long legs and mouthpieces specialized for food intake. Mosquitoes undergo a complete metamorphosis with the developmental stages of egg, larva, pupa and adult insect.

They play an essential role in the ecosystem by serving as food for numerous animals (e.g. amphibians, larger insects and birds) and contributing to the pollination of plants. Nevertheless, they are mainly known as annoying bloodsuckers and disease carriers.

Mosquitoes, gels and mosquitoes: what are the differences?

The terms mosquitoes, gels and mosquitoes all refer to the same insect and are often used interchangeably. In Germany and Austria, one often speaks of mosquitoes, especially in Austria, the term Gelsen is also common. In many English-speaking countries, however, the term mosquitoes is used.

All these terms refer to the family of mosquitoes (Culicidae), which are widespread worldwide and are notorious as bloodsuckers. There are many different species within this family that can transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus, among others.

The term Schnaken, on the other hand, is often mistakenly used as a synonym for mosquitoes. In fact, snakes denote another insect family (Tipulidae) that looks like a mosquito but does not require blood meals and is therefore harmless to humans.

Spread of mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are widespread worldwide and can be found in almost all climates. They are particularly abundant in tropical and subtropical regions, where high temperatures and humidity provide ideal conditions for their propagation. In temperate zones, mosquitoes can also survive and reproduce, especially in the summer months.

Climate changes contribute to the spread of mosquitoes, as rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns open up new habitats. Standing waters such as ponds, swamps, puddles and even abandoned water tanks are preferred breeding grounds. Urban areas also offer numerous opportunities for retreat, for example in sewage systems and gutters.

Mosquitoes are major disease carriers that spread diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and West Nile virus.

Attention: This attracts mosquitoes!

First of all – mosquitoes are not attracted to light! This misconception has persisted for some time. In fact, it is other stimuli that attract mosquitoes:

  • Body odor: Mosquitoes are attracted to certain fragrances in sweat. Lactate and ammonia are particularly attractive.
  • Carbon dioxide: mosquitoes can sense the CO₂ we exhale from a great distance and follow this signal.
  • Body heat: bloodsuckers such as mosquitoes feel the body heat and look for warm spots on the body to sting.
  • Dark clothes: Dark colors are more likely to attract mosquitoes than light colors because they retain heat and are more visible.
  • Perfumes and fragrances: Certain fragrances in perfumes, soaps and lotions can attract mosquitoes.
  • Plant saps: Some mosquito species are also attracted by sweet plant saps and flowering plants.

These factors make people particularly attractive to the little pests and should be taken into account when repelling mosquitoes. Accordingly, they are also taken into account in the advice of the City of Vienna – here is an excerpt:

Tip 1: Make sure that mosquitoes do not find breeding grounds in your area for laying their eggs. Flower coasters, water bowls for pets, etc., should be emptied at least once a week. Containers in which rainwater can collect, such as rain barrels, buckets, disc chests or car tires, should be covered, tipped over or stored under a roof.

Tip 2: Protect yourself in your living rooms and bedrooms with insect screens with a mesh size of no more than 2 millimetres and outdoors with insect repellents from specialist retailers.

Tip 3: If you are exposed to heavy mosquitoes, wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing and long trousers when you are out at dusk or in the evening.

Tip 4: If you have a garden: Natural predators, such as fish or dragonfly larvae, eat and reduce mosquito brood in ponds and waters and thus contribute to ecological insect repellent.

From: City of Vienna. "Tips for protection against mosquitoes". https://www.wien.gv.at/gesundheit/beratung-vorsorge/krankheiten/stechmuecken.html 

Mosquitoes and humans – a field of conflict

The relationship between mosquitoes and humans has always been fraught with conflict. These little pests not only disrupt our summer evenings, but can also cause serious health problems.

As bloodsuckers, mosquitoes are particularly annoying and leave itchy and inflamed bites that can often lead to infections. But that's not all: some mosquitoes are notorious disease carriers that can spread malaria, dengue fever and Zika, for example. The constant threat of these insects has led people to develop a wide variety of defenses. These range from home remedies to chemical remedies against mosquitoes to high-tech solutions for repelling mosquitoes.

The mosquito bite (and what to do about it)

A mosquito bite occurs when a mosquito drills its biting-sucking mouth tools into the skin of a human or animal in order to eat a blood meal – this happens within a few minutes.

During the biting process, the mosquito injects saliva into the injection site, which contains anticoagulant substances to keep the blood fluid. These substances trigger an immune reaction in the human body.

The histamine released by the body leads to the typical symptoms of a mosquito bite: redness, swelling and itching. To ensure that these symptoms disappear or are at least alleviated, you can take various measures:

  • Cooling: Applying cold compresses can reduce swelling and relieve itching.
  • Antihistamines: Creams or gels containing antihistamines may attenuate the histamine response.
  • Home remedy: Applying aloe vera, vinegar or a paste of baking soda and water can have a calming effect.
  • Heat: Special heat pencils have been developed that generate large amounts of heat at the puncture site for a short time to relieve the sting.
  • Do not scratch: As difficult as it is, scratching can aggravate irritation and lead to infections.

Mosquitoes as disease carriers

Mosquitoes are not only annoying pests, but also dangerous disease carriers. Some mosquito species are known to transmit a variety of pathogens that can cause serious health problems.

Major mosquito-borne diseases include:

  • Dengue fever: Transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, it causes flu-like symptoms and can be life-threatening in severe cases.
  • Yellow fever: This disease, also transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, leads to severe liver disease and jaundice.
  • Chikungunya: Spread by Aedes mosquitoes, chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain.
  • Malaria: Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria causes fever, chills and can be fatal without treatment.
  • West Nile virus: Transmitted by Culex mosquitoes, West Nile virus can cause flu-like symptoms and, in severe cases, neurological diseases.
  • Zika virus: Transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, the Zika virus is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can cause severe birth defects.

Mosquitoes pick up the pathogens from infected persons or animals during their blood meal and transfer them to new hosts during their next bite. This role as a vector makes them a serious threat to public health, especially in tropical and subtropical regions.

Mosquitoes – a danger to your pets?

Mosquitoes can also pose a serious threat to your pets. Some mosquitoes act as disease carriers and can transmit dangerous diseases to dogs, cats and other pets. Of particular concern are heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquito bites and can cause serious health problems.

In addition to the transmission of diseases, mosquito bites in pets lead to itching, swelling and skin irritation. Constant harassment by these bloodsuckers can significantly affect the well-being and quality of life of your pets.

To protect your pets, it is important to take mosquito repellent measures. These include special insect repellents for animals, avoiding standing water in the environment and the use of mosquito repellents in living and sleeping areas.

In some cases, your veterinarian may also suggest drug therapies – such as deworming if you go to regions where the risk of heartworm infection is particularly high.

Special case Asian tiger mosquito: What problems does its spread cause?

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a worrying example of invasive mosquito species spreading due to climate change and global trade in goods. Originally native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia, they are now also found in parts of Europe, North and South America and Africa.

The Asian tiger mosquito can be recognized by its black and white striped body and the striking white stripes on its legs. This mosquito is particularly problematic because it is an efficient disease vector. It can transmit dangerous viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika virus.

The tiger mosquito lays its eggs, from which the mosquito larvae hatch, preferably in small accumulations of water such as flower pot coasters, rain gutters and abandoned car tyres, which makes their control difficult. Its spread poses an increasing threat, as it can spread diseases to new regions that were previously unknown there.

To prevent their spread, it is important to eliminate potential breeding sites and monitor the mosquito population. Only through targeted measures can we effectively reduce the health risks posed by the Asian tiger mosquito.

With home remedies against bloodsuckers

Mosquitoes and other bloodsuckers can quickly become a pest in the summer. But there are also numerous home remedies for mosquitoes and gels. You can help keep these pesky insects away without the use of chemistry.

Here are some proven home remedies for ticks:

  • Garlic: The strong smell of garlic repels mosquitoes. A mixture of pressed garlic and water can be sprayed around doors and windows as a natural repellent.
  • Vinegar: A bowl of vinegar can also drive away mosquitoes.
  • Citrus scents: Peels of lemons or oranges, peppered with cloves, are a time-tested home remedy for mosquitoes.
  • Basil and tomato plants: These plants emit odors that mosquitoes don't like, making them a natural defense when placed on window sills or patios.
  • Coffee grounds: Dried coffee grounds can be burned and the rising smoke keeps mosquitoes away.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Spray: Mix apple cider vinegar with some water and spray it on your skin. The smell keeps mosquitoes away, but is usually not unpleasant for humans.
  • Tea tree oil: This essential oil can be used both to treat mosquito bites and to ward off. A few drops applied to the skin have a deterrent effect.
  • Cedar chips: These can be spread around the garden or house to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Catnip: This plant contains nepetalactone, which has a repellent effect on mosquitoes. Plant catnip in your garden or use essential oil.

These home remedies are easy to use, but sometimes have a limited effect and – especially with numerous mosquitoes – are inadequate. Nevertheless, you can try one or the other home remedy as a first step to repel mosquitoes.

Classic methods for repelling mosquitoes

Numerous classic methods for repelling mosquitoes are available to protect against mosquito bites and the annoying bloodsuckers. These proven techniques and products help effectively keep mosquitoes away:

  • Mosquito repellent, insect repellent and insecticides
  • Mosquito nets
  • Fragrances and candles
  • Electric Insect Killer 
  • Air fans
  • Protective clothing

These remedies are considered effective, but especially with chemical remedies, there are often concerns about children or pets. In addition, many of these remedies do not smell appetizing, so that you do not only repel mosquitoes at the barbecue.

Repel mosquitoes with high-tech chemical-free – thanks to IREPELL®

With advanced technology, IREPELL® offers a revolutionary and chemical-free mosquito repellent solution. The innovative device relies on state-of-the-art methods to effectively and environmentally keep away mosquitoes and other unwanted animals.

IREPELL® works with a special technique based on ultrasound against mosquitoes. This technology mimics the mosquitoes' natural enemies using ultrasonic predator sound, scaring them away. The great advantage of this method is that it works completely without chemical fragrances and thus leaves no harmful residues. This makes IREPELL® particularly safe for use in households with children and pets.

The device is easy to set up and can be controlled and adapted to individual needs via a user-friendly app. Regular firmware updates keep IREPELL® up to date and can continuously improve its defense mechanisms. In addition, the compact device is also suitable for use on the go thanks to the powerful battery.

But IREPELL® can do even more: it is a true all-rounder in animal protection. In addition to mosquitoes, it is also effective against a variety of other animal species, including martens, mice, rats, cats, dogs and even insects such as ants, moths, ticks and cockroaches. Through the specific defense modes that can be set for different animals, IREPELL® offers comprehensive protection for your home and garden.



How long does a mosquito live in the room?

The lifespan of a mosquito depends on the species and environmental conditions. In general, mosquitoes can survive in the house for about one to three weeks, provided they find enough food and moisture. Male mosquitoes usually live shorter lives than female ones.

Who do mosquitoes prefer to bite?

Mosquitoes prefer certain people due to factors such as body odor, body heat, CO₂emissions, and skin bacteria. Body odour in particular plays a special role: some people are therefore more attractive to mosquitoes, while others are less appealing to the animals.

Why are tiger mosquitoes so dangerous?

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is particularly dangerous because it is an efficient disease vector. It can transmit viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika. Its rapid spread to new areas increases the risk of outbreaks of these diseases, as it easily adapts to different environments and also breeds in small accumulations of water.

How to keep mosquitoes away?

Mosquitoes can be kept away by various methods:

  • Insect repellent: Repellents applied to the skin can deter mosquitoes.
  • Mosquito nets: nets over beds and in windows prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
  • Fragrances: Certain essential oils such as citronella, lavender and eucalyptus can deter mosquitoes.
  • Air fans: Strong air currents make it difficult for mosquitoes to fly near you.
  • Home Remedies: Vinegar, garlic, and other home remedies can repel mosquitoes.
  • High-tech solutions: Devices such as IREPELL ® use ultrasound to repel mosquitoes without chemicals.
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