The best time to hunt mosquito
s is the morning after they have feasted on someone, preferably someone other than oneself. On the off chance that you happened to be the main course
at the mosquitos' banquet
, at least you have that much more incentive to see them dead.
During the evening and early night when they are most active, mosquitos tend to move quickly and vanish a lot. This happens for two major reasons:
- They are small and pretty fast when they haven't (yet) gorged themselves on your red juices.
- They have developed excellent maneuvering tactics that make them very difficult to track. They don't, as would be expected of most flying things, fly in straight lines or smooth curves. They are the rabbits of the air, they fly in sharp zig zags and change altitude often. This, specifically the sudden altitude shift, creates the illusion of vanishing when they fly straight at you and suddenly fly downwards toward your feet or upwards out of your field of vision.
It is important to know your quarry. If you or someone has suffered only a few (approximately 1-4) mosquito bites, you are probably hunting a loner. If you recieved about 10-12 bites, it is more likely a pair. Anything worse was inflicted obviously by a larger group. The reason you need to know how many are out there is you need to know when you have finished the job.
In the morning mosquitos are vulnerable. They are fatter, so they are easier to see and slower. There is more ambient light also increasing their visibility. Most of all though, they are trying to sleep and digest your blood. Their evasion patterns are just as clever and simple as their stalking patterns. They do a quick disappearing act and then get to the point. In this case that means hanging on any surface that is not illuminated by direct light. Most often I find them on walls, or sides of cabinets, more rarely they are found upside down underneath things. I haven't ever seen one hide rightside up. They are sneaky, often they hide towards the top or the bottom of a wall or other surface, more often than in the middle of one. I think they instinctually don't go into deep crevices and such, because of the increased threat of predators that can actually hunt and kill them. This aversion could also be to avoid trapping.
Just because you found the little fatso, you aren't quite finished. Even sleepy fat mosquitos aren't always easy to kill. Their basic move erratically and then stop technique doesn't require so much speed or maneuverability---certainly not the stopping part. So, if you don't want to kill them in your hands (understandable, though it's likely it's mostly your own blood so what difference does it really make?) you will need something flexible and somewhat heavy. The blow needs to be (1)pretty quick, (2)dead on target, and (3)unhesitant. If your killing blow lacks any of these three requirements, chances are you will have to go into a ridiculous fit of throwing and thrashing (or just clapping if you aren't squeemish about using your bare hands) to have any hope of possibly killing the beast before it has pulled its patented vanishing act.
Cooler environments make mosquitos slower, generally if it is cold enough they won't come out at all. Keep in mind that in a colder environment they have an even easier time seeing you. Netting and screens help keep them out, but if they get in it's even worse, because they probably can't get out again. Congratulations you are now their sole source of food. Mosquitos need standing water to breed so don't leave any lying around. If there are more than 10 mosquitos give up trying to kill them all individually, you really need to take the war to the next level with something that'll kill them wholesale (or at least dissuade them) like pesticide, cold, or citronella(??). Netting or screens combined with any of these tactics will only help.
Do I hear trumpets? the hunt begins...
Newly discovered mosquito tactics: At night when they are more active, they still land often and stay motionless making them mostly invisible. They especially like to fly at you and then land on you while you circle around looking for where they might have flown.
Most of this is based on the mosquitoes native to Jerusalem, as it is with these that I have had the most experience. I am also familliar with American north eastern mosquitos from NJ to VE.
Many mosquitos died to bring you this valuable information ensuring many more mosquitos die. Alternately, pro-mosquito activists will be happy to know that they now know how to build mosquito havens that will better accomodate mosquito preferences.