Consumer Reports Rates the Repellents

Insect repellents were researched and reviewed by Consumers Union and the results published in the July, 1993, issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Twenty-one different commercial products were tested, including aerosol and pump sprays, squeeze bottles or tubes, and wipe-on sticks and towelettes. Repellents were tested against two species of mosquitoes and against stable flies. Only mosquito repellency is summarized here.

Mosquito Repellent Plants

Accompanying the recent interest in mosquitoes and mosquito control is a dose of healthy curiosity concerning the widely advertised mosquito repellent plants. The following article, reprinted from the July/August, 1992 issue of Organic Gardening magazine (page 18), provides one of the clearest summaries of the subject I have seen. Enjoy.--D. R. Lewis

Grow Your Own Skeeter Skeedaddler?

Black Flies--Springtime's Biting Gnats

Black flies are not very common in most of Iowa, though a few samples and calls are received every year. This year, we have experienced a marked increase in the number of calls about 'those !@#$%* gnats that bite like @#$!%*!'.

Black flies, also known as buffalo gnats and turkey gnats, are small, blood-sucking insects slightly less than 1/4 inch long with a stout-body and hump-backed appearance. They are most common along rivers and streams during late spring and early summer.

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