Buzzpatch, Who and What They are

BUZZPATCH

Buzzpatch attracted my attention recently as a company that produces non-toxic, fun stickers that repel insects, namely mosquitoes. As a grandmother of five, these stickers appeal to me for use in my gardens as well as at our family cottage.

Who is Buzzpatch?

The company was established by parents for parents concerned about their children and grandchildren and the overabundance of mosquitoes any time we step out the door. Some (I have a few like this) kids are downright afraid of bugs, others don’t seem to notice them biting, but scratch the bites or worse, develop an allergic reaction to the bites.

What is Buzzpatch?

As the name depicts, buzzpatch are cute sticker-like patches that you attach to childrens’ (or adults’) clothing to keep the bugs at a distance. The bugs might hover around, but do not land when they smell the product.

Created from all natural essential oils (predominantly citronella AKA lemon) and no toxic DEET, these patches are safe for everyone. Stick them on your kids’ hats, shirts, pants etc. If worried about toddlers peeling them off, stick them on their bottoms or the tops of their hats.

My Experience with Essential Oils as Bug Repellents

I have been a proponent of essential oils for ages now and actually created my own bug repellent using geranium and lemon oils, both of which bugs hate. It smells wonderful and works, although I do reapply after several hours outdoors, especially if working up a sweat in my gardens.

Absolutely non-toxic, I spray it all over my clothing and even in my hair and on the bare skin of my neck, hands, legs, etc. My skin is very sensitive to everything else (including those other bug sprays and sunscreens) but not to this natural remedy.

How do Essential Oils Repel Mosquitoes?

When we as humans breathe, we release CO2 which mosquitoes are attracted to when we exhale. The scent in certain essential oils (like the citronella in Buzzpatch stickers) confuses the mosquitoes, creating an invisible shield around your kids from mosquitoes. That’s the theory, I am anxious to try out the stickers.

How do You Order BUZZPATCH?

Perhaps you have seen the same advertisement I did on Facebook. I was intrigued with the advertisement due to my experience with homemade bug repellent, so clicked on the ad and ordered.

I now have a referral code, please use it if you plan to order! If I love the buzzpatch product, I will create my own advertisement on this blog and share the news.

buzzpatch

I received my order of Buzz Patch stickers this week. They came in convenient, resealable (to keep the scent in) pouches, in sheets of six stickers, ten sheets per pouch. I ordered several pouches to keep a stash at our cottage, home and even in my van for pond adventures with my grandson.

I will keep you posted as to their effectiveness!

Cold Weather Good for Gardens

cold weather good for gardens

As we are in the grips of a cold snap, I feel the need to remind you that cold weather is good for your gardens. The survival of your plants and the bugs that try their darndest to destroy them depends on just how low the mercury drops and for how long it stays low. Snow levels also come into consideration for both plant and insect survival.

Insects are amazingly resilient, doing whatever they have to to survive. Based on how well they can tolerate cold temperatures, there are two types of insects. Freeze avoidance insects are those that seek a warm spot in which to hibernate, but can only handle a small amount of cold before their bodily fluids freeze, killing them:

Japanese Beetles

Those annoying Japanese beetles that can strip plants bare in one day do not like cold weather. Extensive stretches of cold below -15C not only kills them off, but also destroys the eggs they lay in the soil of your gardens and containers. Reasearch will show you that any season where Japanese beetles were particularly destructive can be blamed on a preceding warm winter.

Fleas

Fleas are not much of a concern in gardens, but they are for your fur babies. Fleas are even more sensitive to cold than Japanese beetles, as their larvae, pupae and eggs can not tolerate temperatures below freezing. For a stretch of below zero temperatures that is, at least ten days worth. The longer the stretch of cold weather lasts, the less fleas can effectively reproduce.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes try to find a spot to overwinter, but many are killed off with cold weather too. Unfortunately though, many of their eggs are winter-hardy to some degree, just waiting to hatch when temperatures warm up.

Ticks

Unfortunately, many tick species are able to bury deep into piles of leaves and debris, keeping themselves warm enough to survive winters. A winter with lots of snow only adds to their survival as the snow acts as insulation.

The colder the weather, the less chance of tick survival. Extremely cold weather has been known to eradicate some mosquito species, such as the asian tiger mosquito that carries the Zika virus.

Ash Borers

Ash borers are also termed freeze avoidants meaning they seek warmth, but will not die unless their bodily fluids freeze. Research has shown that ash borers can tolerate temperatures down to minus 30C degrees.

Freeze Tolerants

Some insects, such as cockroaches and wooly caterpillars are completely unperturbed by cold weather. These are called freeze tolerants, withstanding even the coldest temperatures around the world.

Fungal Pathogens

Lack of moisture kills off this annoying garden problem. So cold, snowless winters are their biggest destroyers. Unfortunately, severe cold and lack of snow is one of the best ways to kill off perennial plants too. Plants need snow to protect them from the cold too.

Conclusions

A long deep freeze in winter will most likely reduce the destructive bug population in your gardens. Even more damaging to insects is a deep freeze after soil temperatures have started to warm up in spring. At this stage in their reproductive cycle, insects and their eggs will be even more susceptible to a cold snap.

Another reason insects do not tolerate extended winters (late arrival of spring) is because as they “hibernate” they survive on their supply of stored fat and sugar. If these stores are depleted before spring arrives, the insects cannot survive.

Unfortunately, many plants do not handle drastic thaw/freeze/thaw cycles well either, so be careful what you wish for!

photo credit

Giant mosquitoes called psorophora ciliata and nicknamed gallinippers discovered in Ontario

Pest management supervisor says long winter may reduce mosquito numbers around Saskatoon.

A new breed of humongous mosquitoes has now been detected in Ontario from Ottawa to the Niagara region.  Called Psorophora ciliata, and nicknamed Gallinippers, these mosquitoes are approximately 20 times the size of the mosquitoes we are used to.

This is another article about why some people get more mosquito bites than others.  Apparently they are attracted to the heat and sweat on our bodies and the carbon dioxide we exhale.  Eating certain foods has not been scientifically proven to attract or repel mosquitoes.

My brother took this picture of one of these mosquitoes he found at his home in Ingleside, Ontario.  You can see how large it is in comparison to the quarter it is lying on…

I hate using chemical concoctions on my skin, so look to more natural remedies or repellants.  I read recently that rubbing the leaves of a perennial geranium on your skin will repel mosquitoes.  The leaves do release a strong scent when touched, so it may work…

Another plant that repels mosquitoes but does not need to be rubbed on your skin is basil.  I just might plant some of that in my gardens at home and at the cottage.

Monster Mosquitoes

Is it my imagination, or are the mosquitoes larger and more ferocious with lots more of them this summer?  It seems they are out in full force all day long, whether the sun is shining or not!

Being a gardener, I am getting a little too up close and personal with these annoying insects.  Even when I remember to spray my body with an insect repellent it doesn’t take them long to find the spots I missed.  I am working on creating an all natural repellent as the commercial ones give me an instant headache and the sniffles; stay tuned for more information on that…

Those pesky mosquitoes are also thriving at our family cottage, again, all day long, not just at dusk or when overcast.  Trying to get any work done outdoors is brutal; we spend more time swatting than working.  We recently installed a bat house to see if attracting bats to our property will keep the mosquito population down.

Did you know that there are 64 species of mosquitoes in Ontario alone?  The species connected to the West Nile Virus breeds in urban areas and never flies far from its breeding grounds of stagnant, shallow water that is high in organic matter.  Let that be a warning to keep the water collectors in your yard clean.  Bird baths and kiddie pools should be drained and cleaned frequently.   Water filled planters, watering cans, and other items hanging around the yard should be emptied often, especially with all the rain we have had lately.  If you have an ornamental pond, be sure it includes a waterfall or fountain so the water is not stagnant, and add some fish to eat the mosquito larvae that may breed there.