Pest Profile: Mosquitoes
Whether you enjoy camping, grilling, swimming, playing tag, or just napping on your lawn chair, you know that summertime just isn’t the same without being out in the sun!—that is, until the mosquitoes start feasting on you. Suddenly, you’re swarmed by tiny vampires, and you can’t run inside quickly enough. Now your summer is sitting inside, smearing bug bite cream on yourself and staring longingly outside. It doesn’t have to be that way: you can live mosquito free all summer long with a little help from your professional exterminator.
Mosquitoes are small flying insects with elongated mouthparts. Adult mosquitoes of both genders feed on nectar and plant juices. They begin life as eggs, which the gravid female lays in stagnant water. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on decaying material in the water they live in. The larvae then mature into pupae, which soon float to the surface of the water and shed their outer skin to reveal the adult mosquito. Adult mosquitoes generally live close to the ground, leaving only to feed and breed. They can live between several weeks to several months depending on condition and species.
Why They’re Pests
The females of many mosquito species require the nutrients found in blood to be able to produce eggs. Mosquitoes are actually highly adapted to sense ideal blood sources, able to even sense the carbon dioxide our bodies naturally expel. Because they are such determined and skilled blood hunters, mosquitoes seem to just beeline for us when we step outside. Being the buffet at a bug feast is nobody’s idea of a picnic to begin with, but in addition to the annoyance and itching that mosquito bites bring, mosquitoes can also carry a wide variety of some of the world’s deadliest diseases and parasites.
What Diseases and Parasites Do They Carry?
Among the diseases and parasites mosquitoes carry are:
- West Nile Virus
- Yellow Fever
- Dengue Fever
These are not the only diseases mosquitoes carry that can infect humans, just the worst. The majority of mosquito-borne illnesses are killers, so protection from mosquitoes is no game. In addition to infecting humans, mosquitoes can also infect animals with some of the above mentioned diseases. Though it rarely affects humans, pets are especially susceptible to getting heartworm from mosquito bites.
There are a few things that homeowners can do to ensure that they won’t have a mosquito problem in their yard. One is to eliminate potential breeding grounds. Seek out any stagnant water, even small puddles, and drain it. Stagnant water can hide in unlikely places, so check your old tire swing, the kids’ sandbox toys and any nooks in trees. In addition to removing breeding grounds, have a consultation with a professional exterminator about prevention methods and strategic applications that can be made be a licensed professional to reduce mosquito populations. A professional exterminator can create a pest control system that will control your mosquito issues and make outdoor activities enjoyable again.