Manataka American Indian Council






When someone is bit by a mosquito these days the story makes the six o'clock news and headlines across the country.  There is good reason. A bite from a mosquito infected with the infamous West Nile encephalitis could kill or maim its victim.   Hundreds of people around the country have died in recent years.

Mosquito-borne viruses are part of a group of pathogens known as arthropod-borne viruses, or arboviruses.

Blood-sucking insects usually spread arboviruses such as malaria, Dengue fever, yellow fever, California serogroup, Japanese, Eastern Equine and Western Equine encephalitides (or swelling of the brain). There are more than 100 arboviruses that can cause human diseases, including encephalitis.

Most people infected with arboviruses do not have symptoms or may develop flu-like symptoms, but in a growing number of cases, some infections can cause coma or death.  

Avoid Mosquito Bites to Avoid Infection Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) when you're outdoors.

When possible, wear long-sleeved clothes and long pants treated with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.

Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.

Limit the number of places available for mosquitoes to lay their eggs by eliminating standing water sources from around your home.

Once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans.

Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.

Remove old tires and other items that could collect water.

Install or repair window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot get indoors.

Check to see if there is an organized mosquito control program in your area.

If no program exists, work with your local government officials to establish a program. 

The American Mosquito Control Association (732-932-0667, Fax - 732-932-0930, e-mail - can provide advice, and their book Organization for Mosquito Control is a useful reference. Another source of information about pesticides and repellents is the National Pesticide Information Center, or toll-free 1-800-858-7378.

Electronic De-Bugging Devises
There are many types of electric and battery operated contraptions on the market selling for anywhere from $39.95 up to $2,400.00. Most make wild claims about killing mosquitoes by the millions.  Go for it if you like wasting money.  


We can not swear to the effectiveness of some of these ideas, but you might ward off the little buggers by trying some of these suggestions sent to us by email:

Fabric Softener Sheets.  Wipe on skin and go.

Petroleum Jelly.  Smear on skin.

Plant marigolds around the yard.  The flowers give off a smell that bugs do not like.

Marines who spend a great deal of time "camping out" say that the very best mosquito repellant you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol.

Mix your own:
20 drops Eucalyptus oil
20 drops Cedar wood oil
10 drops Tea Tree oil
10 drops Geranium oil
2 oz. carrier oil ( such as Jojoba )

Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities.  Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.  

One of the best natural insect repellants is made from the clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol). Health food stores usually carry it.  Mix half pure vanilla and half water. 

Take one vitamin B-1 tablet a day April through October. The odor the tablet gives out through your skin (you can not smell it) repels mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-um's.  It does not work on stinging insects.  (According to the experts, B-1 does not work.)

Do not eat bananas.  Mosquitoes like the banana oil.

Other Suggestions:
The very best idea comes from the experience of Lee Standing Bear who tromped around the jungles of Panama and Southeast Asia for several years before wading deep into the Florida swamps as a member of Three Mosquitoes Band. 

Bear says, "Eat Onions, peppers, and garlic during summer months.  These healthful foods are guaranteed to keep mosquitoes away." (And most everything and everyone else too.)

However, this good advise was not how the Three Mosquitoes became famous and honored bug warriors.  This is the real, griping and heroic story:


The Three Mosquitoes were a relative obscure bunch of veterans who knew how to fight bugs on their own level as most of them spent a great deal of time laying on the ground.

The Three Mosquitoes were called back into action when the alarm was sounded in the Big Apple, New York City, by one of its most famous citizens, Judy Garland of Alice In Wonderland fame.  Garland was being attacked by a swarm of giant mosquitoes! 

Bear and his fearless band of bug warriors jumped the next freight train north and began to devise a plan of attack along the route.   

As they arrived, the entire city was in a panic. The Giant Mosquitoes had sucked the blood out of the left arm of every yellow cab driver in town and they were driving around in circles! 

The Statue of Liberty was stung in the arm pit so badly she dropped the torch!  The mayor begged the Three Mosquitoes, " Do something, quick!"

Swinging into action, the ferocious team of hardened bug veterans, made a collect telephone call to Hershey, Pennsylvania.   "We told 'em to send the big bombers," recalls Bear.  "We asked the mayor and Judy to get on the radio and television to tell every to clear the streets.  The Three Mosquitoes were in town and this is war!"

After a long night of loud splats and horrifying screams, morning came to New York City without a single mosquito to be found anywhere….


Judy and New York City were saved!   

How did our brave band of  beautiful boys give the boot to the bad bugs?

The Three Mosquitoes blasted the entire city of New York with three feet of Hershey's chocolate syrup drowning the Giant Mosquitoes in the sticky goo!

Judy, the mayor and the entire city were elated!   The chocolate syrup covering the city was soon licked clean by children and pets.   During the big ticker-tape parade, the mayor presented a key to the city to our heroes and Judy gave them all a big kiss!   Later, the Hershey Chocolate company named their newest candy bar after the 3 Mosquitoes!



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