Mosquito Information & Control
Mosquitoes are well-known pests who famously feed on the blood of animals, particularly mammals. Though certainly a nuisance, mosquitoes are also capable of spreading dangerous diseases from one host to another because when a mosquito bites, they inject some of their saliva into their new host. This saliva can carry diseases like malaria, yellow fever and West Nile, diseases which have become a major problem in underdeveloped countries.
What are Mosquitos?
Small insects with scaled wings, a slender body and long legs, mosquitoes are well known to humans, and it is estimated there are 3,500 species of mosquito across the planet. Length varies greatly depending on the species, but mosquitoes rarely exceed more than about ½ inch and usually weigh no more 2 ½ milligrams. Surprisingly fast, mosquitoes can fly at a speed of 1 to 2 kilometers per hour for up to 4 hours.
Mosquitoes are generally nocturnal, typically seeking shelter in the shade during the hottest parts of the day. In need of the protein and iron to develop their eggs, female mosquitoes suck blood to compliment their diet of plant nectar. Male mosquitoes do not suck blood, getting all the nutrients they need from plant nectar.
Do-It-Yourself Mosquito Control
A dangerous nuisance, mosquitoes are an important pest to protect yourself from. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your home:
- Eliminate potential sources of moisture from around your home, and fix leaky faucets or drains.
- Clean out your gutters regularly to avoid the build up of moisture that could provide mosquitoes a place to lay eggs.
- Change outdoor lighting to bulbs that emit sodium and yellow light to repel mosquitoes.
- Protect entry points like windows and doors with mesh screens.
- Eliminate pools of standing water after rain storms to ensure that mosquitoes do not have a habitat in which to lay their eggs.
- Use mosquito netting and wear protective clothing when camping or sleeping outdoors.
- Consider setting up a perimeter around your backyard or campground with citronella candles or lanterns.
Over the Counter Solutions
Although there are many mosquito prevention products found in supermarkets and drugstores, they are not all equally effective as each uses different chemicals to discourage mosquitoes. Commercial sprays can be harmful to other living organisms upon exposure, and substances like DEET, while quite effective, are particularly toxic if accidentally ingested. There are natural mosquito repellants like skin patches and natural oil, but they are often found to be less effective than their more toxic substitutes.
When is it Time to Call Professionals?
A female mosquito has the potential to lay more than 100 eggs, each of which can progress into a full grown mosquito in as few as fourteen days. This rapid life cycle gives mosquitoes the ability to grow their populations rapidly, intensifying their bothersome and potentially dangerous presence in and around your home. For this reason, mosquito infestations in a home or property must not be overlooked, and there are times that conventional solutions simply will not be enough.
Pest control experts are trained to use sophisticated equipment and strategies to exterminate mosquito infestations beyond what commercial bug sprays or citronella candles are capable of. One product professionals employ is a large-scale fogger, which emits a cloud of insecticide for pests in the air. Exterminators also make use of dispersal devices mounted on vehicles along with various professional-grade sprays. If you believe your mosquito problem has progressed beyond your control, contact an expert today.