When the weather is warm, we all love spending time outdoors. What’s better than an afternoon barbecue with friends and family? The only thing that can ruin this idyllic scene would be everyone’s least favorite uninvited guests- mosquitoes.
If you are facing an unwanted horde of mosquitoes, contact Environmental Pest Management. We have the tools and expertise to squash your bug issues before they become big problems.
What do Mosquitoes look like?
Mosquitoes are small flying insects. They have a single pair of tiny wings. Typically, they have thin, long legs and a long probe extruding from the crown of their heads.
The bodies of mosquitoes are covered with minuscule scales. The fully-grown mosquito can range in size, but generally, they stay between 3 and 9 mm.
What do Mosquitoes eat?
Not all mosquitoes are bloodsuckers. In fact, it is typically only the adult females and only when they are working on generating their eggs. A mosquito’s principal source of food is actually nectar from flowers.
The larvae, on the other hand, spend all their time in stagnant water feeding on a variety of minerals, organic debris, and tiny aquatic organisms.
Some species of mosquito are predatory and have been known to be cannibalistic.
Mosquitoes prefer hot and humid environments. They are most prevalent in tropical areas, but some species have been found in frozen locales, such as the Arctic Tundra.
The hairs found on a mosquito’s antenna help with their ability to hear. These hairs are different between the sexes. The male’s plumes are large and feathery, and the females have smoother antennae.
Typically, male mosquitoes are quite a bit smaller than female mosquitoes. They also don’t live as long, poor guys.
Interestingly, mosquitoes reproduce while airborne. When experts researched this behavior, they found that the frequency and sound of the mosquito’s wing beats is one of the main attractants for mates.
Mosquitoes can see through their compound eyes. These eyes are located on either side of the head. Each eye is made up of hundreds of small lenses called ommatidia.
This allows the mosquito to see and perceive stimuli from many directions at one time. The mosquitoes really on this broad field of vision to help them find their prey.
Sight is not the only thing mosquitoes use to find food. They can smell attractive gases from their host up to 170 feet away. They can also sense body heat when it is less than four feet away.
How do I get Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes prefer to breed in standing water that is stagnant. If you live near a pond, marsh, or any depression that collects water, you are at a higher risk for mosquitoes.
After heavy rains, if water collects in your yard, you may have to worry about these pests. Most mosquitoes are more active at night. Most often they emerge right around dusk and are most active at night.
This means that as spring comes, prepare to see more and more of these pests.
If any mosquitoes find themselves in your home, they will most likely seek out dark and hidden areas. They will then come out at night to search for food. Likely suspects for hiding places include the space under sinks, in closets, or laundry rooms.
Mosquitoes prefer to be outside, but they may accidentally find themselves inside through an open door or window.
What are the signs of a Mosquito infestation?
The two most telltale signs of a mosquito infestation are-
- The buzzing of the females
- The ensuing bites
If you believe you have a mosquito infestation, act fast. The bite of a mosquito is potentially very dangerous. They have been known to carry the Zika virus, the West Nile virus, and several types of encephalitis.
Mosquito bites are not only annoying and itchy, but the worst-case scenario is also a painful death.
How do I get rid of Mosquitoes?
The best way to deal with mosquitoes is to prevent them access in the first place. Prevention is key. The best ways to prevent mosquito infestation are-
- Insect repellent- Use only as directed
- Oil of lemon
- Oil of eucalyptus
- Use window or door screens
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net
- Air conditioners or fans for high traffic points of entry
What are the most common Mosquito-borne viruses?
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne illness in the United States. The bite from a mosquito spreads it. Unsurprisingly, West Nile is most common during mosquito season- late summer through fall.
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to prevent West Nile, nor are there any medications to treat it. Fortunately, though, most people who are infected do not contract any symptoms. In fact, only about 1 out of every 150 people develop a severe or fatal illness.
Reduce your risk by wearing insect repellant, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoiding mosquito bites.
Many parts of the world still view the Zika Virus as a severe problem; some include US territories such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. If you are planning a trip to any area where Zika is a problem, be sure to take the proper precautions.
Zika is particularly insidious because it can cause severe congenital disabilities when a pregnant mother is infected. Expectant mothers should be particularly cautious when it comes to mosquito prevention.
Saint Louis Encephalitis
This disease is spread through mosquito bites. Most people who are infected see little to no symptoms. The unlucky few will experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness.
Occasionally, a person may experience severe swelling of the brain. This reaction is predominately found in older adults. In very rare cases, long-term disability or death may occur.
You can reduce your chances of contraction by wearing insect repellant and long layers.
Over 2 million cases of Chikungunya have been reported since 2013. This disease can be found in over 45 countries and counting.
Fortunately, for those infected, the disease is rarely fatal. The side effects are still severe, though, often ranging from minor to debilitating joint pain, fever, headaches, muscle pain, and rashes.
If you believe you are suffering from an infestation, don’t wait until it is too late. Contact Environmental Pest Management today.