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insect repellent

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by jek, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. jek

    jek Arachnopeon

    Hi, I live in Brazil and it's summer now, so sometimes there're mosquitos in my room and they are pretty anoying when you are trying to sleep.
    I usually plug one of those insect repellent devices to keep the mosquitos away.
    But my T's terrarium is in my room and I'd like to know if it is safe to use the repellent without harming my T.
  2. I would think that the chemical that would be killing and deterring the mosquitoes would also be messing with the tarantula on some level, especially if it has deet, which most of those products have.

    Even if it does not have deet I still think you are safer taking a few bites from the flies then letting that thing operate near your tarantula because the whole idea of it is to use a chemical deterrent .
  3. -Sarah-

    -Sarah- Arachnobaron

    I've heard that marigold flowers are excellent for repelling mosquitoes, but I'm not sure of what they might do to a tarantula... I've also heard vanilla being used as a repellent for biting insects, but I'm not quite sure what that would do, either. My mother used to have these electronic things plugged in the walls that were supposed to keep mice, insects and spiders away (they supposedly emit some high-frequency noise... :confused: seems useless except for mice, maybe) but all of those have been unplugged since I started keeping tarantulas. I hope you find a solution soon! Mosquitoes are so irritating! :wall:

  4. jek

    jek Arachnopeon

    yeah...I think I'll just kill the mosquitos myself and close the windows at night...
  5. David Burns

    David Burns Arachnoprince Old Timer

    How about a Bug Zapper, it attracts flying insects and kills with electricity.
  6. They are fun to watch to! That's a great idea! :clap:
  7. robbie

    robbie Arachnosquire

    I agree go with the bug zapper, it will also make a great night light.{D
  8. Those aren’t any good :shame: they kill indiscriminately and a lot more beneficial insects get fried than the targeted pest.
  9. Hedorah99

    Hedorah99 Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Actually I think I read something like 95% more beneficial and harmless insects are killed than pest species.
  10. DrAce

    DrAce Arachnoangel

    DEET is a bad idea. It is likely to be bad for the spider.

    Marigolds contain pyrethrin chemicals, which are 'natural' insect repellants (and insecticides) and my understanding is that these primarilly affect insects, not spiders. I believe it interacts with the spiricles on the insect, which tarantulas lack.
  11. 138

    138 Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Damselflies(sp?), Dragonflies and/or fly paper. i read this not too long ago too...

    “We think that cinnamon oil might also affect adult mosquitoes by acting as a repellant,” Chang says. The researchers haven’t yet tested this theory, but they plan to find out in the near future.

    The Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, a government agency in Taiwan, provided support for this research.
  12. they don't attract mosquitoes very well tho. Mosquitoes are attracted by CO2
    if you had a bug zapper with no light , and leaked a small amount of CO2 in there, it should be great for skeeters and very little else.
  13. Cheshire

    Cheshire Arachnoking Old Timer


    Have you tried citronella?
  14. Oh ya I guess I should have taken note of the country he was from. Might be a slightly higher risk for something nasty.

    Do they practice spraying to kill the larva like we do here in the US?
  15. DrAce

    DrAce Arachnoangel

    Sao Paulo is actually reasonably safe in terms of Malaria. Yellow Fever or, more significantly for Sao Paulo and Rio, Dengue are both distinct possibilities.

    Fortunately, Sao Paulo is a big centre with a decent medical infrastructure to deal with these diseases.

    This message repeats in Portguese (I think... I'm a terrible portuguese speaker):
    Bem vindo à Arachnoboards, jek. Descupe para meu Portuguese mau, mas aqui tem um poucos Brasileros. Talvez têm o conselho melhor para você, certamente mais experiência com seu problemas.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2007
  16. Godzirra

    Godzirra Arachnobaron

    You should consider safer methods, such as - a mosquito net hanging over your bed,
    there are plenty of natural ways to keep away mosquitoes and targetted bugs

  17. Nerri1029

    Nerri1029 Chief Cook n Bottlewasher Old Timer

  18. OK. I'll add a few thoughts, even though some have already been touched on.

    Repellent killing tarantulas - Repellents are not the same as insecticides. They repel, not kill. They repel generally by messing up the ability of a parasitic insect (mosquito) to detect its prey. By itself, this would not be likely to damage your tarantulas (I'm assuming you are not planning on spraying the repellent on the tarantulas), but the scent might be annoying enough to them to disrupt their feeding or create other stresses. Personally, I've never found repellents to be particularly effective on a long-term basis anyway. I'd vote against using them. (And there are lots of repellents besides DEET-based ones.)

    Bug Zapper - these are only useful for killing insects that are drawn to lights. (Usually a UV bulb is used as the "bait".) Mosquitos are not drawn to light. This means the bug zapper will have no direct effect on your mosquito population - except to possibly boost it once you've killed off the "good" insects that might otherwise prey on the mosquitos. I'd vote against this as well.

    Mosquito Netting - This gets my vote. Easy to use, clean, physical barrier that will keep mosquitos away from your bed. Will also help keep kissing bugs away from your bed, if you happen to live in an area that has them. (I do, and I'm more concerned with them than with mosquitos.)

    Probably the best thing you can do, though, is make sure your house is adequately sealed up to keep mosquitos out. Screens on doors and windows (in good repair). Don't leave doors and windows open to allow mosquitos in. Don't have tall grasses near the house (mosquitos hide in them during the day). Don't have large bushes and potted plants near the outside of your doors and windows (same reason as for tall grasses). If you have any standing water near the house, empty it. Fish ponds are good, if you have small mosquito-eating fish in them. If you have standing water near the house that you cannot empty - there's a bacteria that can be introduced that kills mosquito larvae. It's commercially available in a number of forms in the U.S. If you can - encourage a colony of bats to live near your house. Small bats like Myotis are great on mosquitos. And bat colonies are easy to establish. (We've got a colony of Pallid bats that roost on my front porch - unfortuntely, they eat scorpions and centipedes - among other things - rather than mosquitos.)
  19. pinktoe23

    pinktoe23 Arachnoknight


    This is really good information! :worship:

    To the OP I had the same problem when sharing a student apt with 3 other roommates and had no air conditioner or screens in the windows. I also kept my T's in my room like you. Brasil temperatures are very similar to ours and imo I don't think you will like the mosquito net if you don't have adequate ventilation in your room. It does works very well blocking insects but because the screen also limits the air around your bed it will get hotter and you'll hate it. The net sucked because I only had a window in my room and a small fan so I just ended up just buying an odorless insect repellent at the supermarket and would lightly spray and pat it directly in my hands, arms and legs outside of our apt and would let it dry completely for 2-4 minutes. It would work up to 8 hours and I never observed any side effects nor deaths in my t's because of it.

    Ps: There is an insect repellent that also comes as a lotion (this would be the best option) but if you can't find it just buy the spray and apply it to your skin always outside your home and wait until completely absorbed. Hope this can help you.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  20. Good point. The netting does slow down the air flow. If hanging it in a small area around your bed is uncomfortable, there may be alternatives. In my case I have an entryway into the house from the front door, and I hang mosquito netting there to separate the entryway from the rest of the house. At night during the warm months of the year I only go into and out of the house using that door. Any mosquitos or kissing bugs that come in through the door when I open it get stopped by the mosquito netting. I can kill them there in the entryway before they get into the house. And that way the netting doesn't interfere with the airflow from a fan or cooler.

    Maybe you could also hang it over your bedroom door.

    Pinktoe - where is Bayamón? My wife's father is from Mayaguez