More Pest ID
All About the Mosquito
Who hasn’t been bitten by a pesky mosquito? There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes found worldwide. They are stubborn and agitating pests that no one wants to deal with on their own.
Reach out to James River Pest Solutions to discover how we can help you implement the best mosquito prevention and control methods to keep your home mosquito-free.
In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about these common pests.
Most people know how to identify a mosquito when they see one. These flying insects have six lengthy legs, a pair of translucent wings, and narrow bodies, typically less than half an inch.
Additionally, mosquitos have two feathery antennae and a proboscis. For females, the proboscis is strong enough to pierce the skin of mammals. This is the organ they use to “bite” and suck blood which they need to produce eggs. The male’s proboscis is only strong enough to sip nectar from flowers and pierce fruit for juices.
A mosquito’s life begins when a female lays her eggs in water or a moist environment. The eggs may hatch in only a few days, but some will take months. Once hatched, the larva emerges and lives in the water until it transforms into an adult mosquito. Before becoming an adult, the larva will make one more change into a pupa. On average, it takes 7 to 10 days for a mosquito to reach its adult form.
Adult mosquitos do not need to live in water to survive. At this point, they develop wings to travel around and a proboscis to consume nectar and blood meals. Adult mosquitoes typically live for 2 to 4 weeks.
Only female mosquitoes bite people and animals. Some species prefer feeding on other mammals or birds rather than humans. When bitten by a mosquito, most people experience swelling and itching around the affected area.
Mosquito bites are an annoyance but not severe for many people. However, some individuals are allergic to mosquito bites. Children and those with weaker immune systems may also experience more severe reactions, like intense itchiness, soreness, and excessive swelling around the bite.
Furthermore, some mosquitos may carry dangerous diseases and parasites that can make humans and animals sick.
As mentioned, mosquitos consume nectar and fruit juices as their primary nutrients. Female mosquitoes will also consume blood meals to produce eggs. Without blood from animals or humans, mosquitos wouldn’t be able to continue their species generation after generation.
Female mosquitoes can bite day and night. However, most people notice an abundance of mosquitoes outdoors in the evening.
You will find mosquitos in almost every part of the world. In the United States, they are most abundant in the more humid and tropical climates, such as Florida and Hawaii. Some populations prefer to live near humans, while others dwell deep in forests, marshes, and grasses.
Mosquitos are almost always found near water sources because this is where their life cycle begins. That’s why one of the best methods of keeping these pesky insects off your property is to eliminate any standing water, like bird baths, puddles, and more.
The mosquito may prefer clean water over a nutrient-rich source, depending on the species. Furthermore, some are fond of laying their eggs in the soil, while others lay them in bodies of water, like swamps or lakes. The species that lay their eggs in damp grounds still need water to hatch. They are known as floodwater mosquitoes—when the rain comes, the soil is drenched and covered with water, and the eggs then hatch to produce the larval form.
For the most part, mosquitos prefer to live outdoors, where they can thrive. However, some may get trapped indoors. They can survive and reproduce inside the home if there is a reliable water source and high humidity.
Handling Mosquito Infestations
In the United States, most mosquitos are not considered dangerous to us. Instead, they are regarded as nuisance pests. Disease-carrying mosquitoes are still present but very rare.
West Nile virus is one of the more abundant diseases mosquitoes can transmit. Others may include:
The above mosquito-borne illnesses are more common in other parts of the world. Still, they have occurred in the United States and territories like Puerto Rico.
In general, mosquitos become a significant issue following heavy rain, hurricanes, or floods. In some states, like Florida, they are quite prevalent throughout most of the year.
Luckily, there are many things you can do at home to prevent mosquitoes from being attracted to your property. Furthermore, there are several ways you can protect yourself from irritating mosquito bites when participating in outdoor activities, like sports, hiking, and picnics.
If your home or property becomes infested by buzzing mosquitoes, they are best eliminated using a professional pest company, like Virginia’s James River Pest Solutions.
Preventing Mosquitos at Home
Below are some tips on how to keep your yard mosquito-free:
- Remove any items from your property that may collect rainwater, like junk cars, broken-down appliances, and other trash.
- Avoid puddles, damaged water pipes, and similar things that may make your yard excessively moist.
- Fill holes in trees with mortar.
- Regularly empty or renew the water in bird baths, pet dishes, and feeding troughs.
- Clean out roof gutters and other drainages.
- Cover water tanks on your property.
- If possible, keep the mosquito’s natural predators around, like frogs, lizards, birds, and fish.
When outdoors during particular seasons of the year or after heavy rains, you can protect yourself from mosquito bites by:
- Wear long pants and sleeves.
- Avoid peak hours from dusk to dawn.
- Using bug sprays.
- Treat your clothes with mosquito deterrents.
- Use citronella candles in the area you are in.
Mosquito Control with James River Pest Solutions
There’s no denying that mosquitos are some of the most agitating pests to deal with. If you’re having trouble controlling the mosquitoes around your home or place of business, call on the experts at James River Pest Solutions to eliminate the mosquitos.
That way, you can enjoy being outside without these pesky flying insects squashing your good times.
We have the top methods in the industry for controlling biting mosquitoes. Reach out to us today to learn more.