Turn On A Fan To Swat Mosquitoes

Forget about coating yourself with DEET, turning on that bug zapper or buying one of those gas-powered, suction-enhanced instruments of mass annihilation. If you want to rid your yard of mosquitoes, the answer may be as simple as turning on a fan.

The New York Times reports on a study conducted by Michigan State University, which determined that a fan can be an effective tool against skeeters, though not for completely obvious reasons:

Studies have found that wind is an effective method against mosquitoes and other airborne pests. The reason seems obvious: it prevents them from circling and landing on you, like a windstorm keeping a plane from its descent. But that is not entirely the case. A fan dilutes and disperses the carbon dioxide you exhale. Carbon dioxide is one of the major chemicals that attract mosquitoes. The wind from a fan also cools you off. Sweat, lactic acid and body heat attract mosquitoes — factors that a fan can help minimize. …

Using fan-generated wind of various speeds helped keep them away. But there was no link between wind “velocity” and “mosquito body mass.”

So, go ahead and get a cheap fan and plug it in. No need for a bug zapper — unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys that crispifying sizzle and flash, that is.

Really? – The Claim – To Repel Mosquitoes, Use a House Fan – Question [NYTimes.com]

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  1. Fjord says:

    I’ll keep my zapper, my cat likes the bug chips in the morning below the zapper.

    • Audi_addict says:

      Cats really aren’t above anything huh? My two will chase a bug until they’re sick if they don’t catch it.

    • RandomHookup says:

      There may be a business idea in there. “Bug Chips for Cats”…set up a big factory in Louisiana near the swamps (probably some government incentives for that) with nothing but bug zappers. Clean out the trays every morning and bag. Nature’s recycling, no less.

    • fsnuffer says:

      Nothing funnier than watching a cat eat a slug and then walk into the house and give “mommy” a kiss

  2. Conformist138 says:

    Probably explains why our outrageous mosquito population explosion has seemed less severe recently. We just set up some fans that pretty much push gusts of wind through the entire house. For awhile, we were covered in miserable bites. It’s been really really bad this year.

  3. peebozi says:

    This proves the free market works and can solve any problem!!!

    • Randell says:

      This actually proves a PUBLIC college does research that can benefit all.

      • peebozi says:

        Ok, we really don’t need socialists on here spewing the virtues of public schooling, public roads, the fire department, police department, public libraries and medicare.

        And how do you think the public college got those fans? They needed to enter the free market system.

        I win this one!

  4. pop top says:

    Go Spartans! :D

  5. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    “DDT is good for meeeeee!”

  6. DoubleEcho says:

    The best “zap” I ever saw was when a huge bumblebee flew into the zapper for some reason. It sizzled for a minute or more, and yes kids, there was a fireball.

  7. MattO says:

    i miss our bugzapper back home….had it out near the pool – far enough away to keep the bugs away, but close enough to keep the bugs away….that thing was great…..

  8. Grabraham says:

    I wonder if that bothersome buffeting is the secret :D

    • SegamanXero says:

      Lulzx I am probably going to be the only one who got the “buffeting” reference… For those who don’t know, according to Dyson Air Multiplier marketing “unconformable Buffeting” is why you would want a $299 fan over a $10 one… Shoot for $299 I would just get an air conditioner…

  9. dreamfish says:

    I’ve always wondered how effective those citronella bucket candles are. Do they really keep mozzies away?

    • craptastico says:

      i have a few of them and they’re moderately effective. usually if a few of us are sitting around the porch you’ll need a few candles and they’re not perfect but they do help.

    • zandar says:

      pretty well, but they only work if you set them up all around you in every direction- not always feasible or desirable for that matter.

      More effective for us is for everyone to get a spritz of Skin-so-soft or Burt’s Bees repellant, which has citronella. Then not worry about casting the ring of protection, just a few fires at the perimeter for good measure (actually we use tiki torches with citronella fuel).

    • grumpskeez says:

      Those and the off ‘incense’ coils work rather well at keeping nats away too

    • tidalfae says:

      The candles work really well for me – I carry one with a handle around the garden to keep the mosquitos away as I weed.

  10. rbb says:

    http://skeeterbag.com/ is simply a 20″ box fan with a mesh net attached to suck in the mosquitoes

    • layton59 says:

      I just went to the link. One skeeter bag is $19.95 plus shipping. It states that you can order as many bags as you need for the same one time shipping fee. I think two bags would be good. One bag to use and one bag for a clean back-up replacement. Neat idea, I like the fact that it does the job without harmful chemiclas. Now, I just need a site with something to safely get rid of the 75 crawdad/crayfish mounds in my yard. I live on 5 acres so the math is 15 per acre.

  11. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Sweat, lactic acid and body heat attract mosquitoes…

    This must be why they don’t bother me in the pool. I’m cool, not sweaty and I guess they can’t detect anything else. When I get out, though, or go in the yard for anything else, they’re on me like crazy.

    And what is it with horseflies around pools? Do they like chlorine or something? We used to have to duck them all the time at the city pool as kids.

  12. jjcraftery says:

    Makes sense. When we vacation in the Outer Banks, NC, the beach at night is GREAT….until the wind stops for 20 seconds, and BOOM!!!…..mosquitoes attack like CRAZY.
    *hooks fan up on the front porch and back patio*

  13. sliverworm says:

    All you need is a dryer sheet. Rub yourself with it or just carry it in your pocket. It honestly works.. cheaper than running a fan too.

    • SuperNinjaâ„¢ says:

      But then the Snuggles Bears are on me like white on rice… more annoying than the darn mosquitoes!

  14. Starphantom12 says:

    I live in a desert with no mosquitoes, so I’m always woefully unprepared when I visit my family in North Dakota. My grandmother cracks me up hunting flies though… she has one of those electrified tennis rackets and will go around the house swiping at horseflies.

  15. SuperNinjaâ„¢ says:

    So, apparently, this is an “Ancient Chinese Secret”… at least, according to my wife. Her reaction to the study: “Duh! My grandma and I used to sit on the steps every night with a hand fan, fanning ourselves to keep the mosquitoes away!”

  16. webweazel says:

    When I would periodically stay at a relative’s vacation trailer near the NJ beaches, a multitude of mosquitoes would always invade the trailer. There wasn’t much to do about it. When I slept, I would keep a sheet pulled all the way up to my neck, and a fan blowing on my face and most of my body all night. No bites in the morning, so yes, it does work. I always assumed it kept them from landing. Now I know that was at least partially true.

  17. James says:

    So does that mean the Dyson “fan” would be less effective because the wind it generates won’t buffet any people.

  18. MrEvil says:

    Also why in the Texas Panhandle Mosquitoes are only really prevalent in town where they have shelter from the near constant wind. Out at my dad’s farm getting bit by a Mosquito is a rare occurrence due to the near constant winds.

  19. tuxclam says:

    Bug zappers don’t zap mosquitoes — they’re not attracted to UV light. Bug zappers outdoors mainly just help kill off song birds, by killing off generally innocuous insects, destroying the bird’s food supply.

  20. Galium says:

    Just curious on how much was spent on something that was known since I was a child. Bugs also do not fly in the rain.