Mosquitoes are widely distributed and familiar to us all. One of the most common of all complaints from people trying to enjoy the outdoors during the spring & summer months concerns the annoyance caused by the often enormous populations of these small, slender, long-legged flies and the bites they inflict. Both males and females obtain some nutrition from flower nectar, but it is only the females that feed on blood to acquire the extra protein boost needed to produce and lay eggs. In this process the females can also carry disease organisms and parasites from one host to another and thus may serve as vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and various forms of viral encephalitis.
Where they live?
Mosquitoes are resilient. They can survive in almost any environment except extreme winter conditions. Although they prefer tropical, warm conditions as their main habitat, many species have adapted to living in places that are not traditionally mosquito hotbeds, helping them expand their range. To start off, aquatic bodies are perhaps the number one spot where you would find several different mosquitoes species — especially stagnant water that is not moving freely. This relationship between mosquitoes and water is very different from other forms aquatic insects. While many water insects tend to spend most of their time under water, mosquito larvae spend the majority of their time on the surface of the water. This is why we stress controlling standing water in your yard either with strategies to drain and remove the water, or by using mosquito dunks or similar products.
Are Mosquitoes cause of concern?
According to the World Health Organization mosquitoes infect over 300 million people a year with Malaria and Dengue, just two of the life threatening diseases mosquitoes can carry. According to WHO of those 300 million 800,000 will die from Malaria and another 20,000 from Dengue. In Africa alone where mosquito control efforts are severely lacking businesses note that work absences related to mosquito borne diseases cost them $12 billion a year in lost productivity. According to the CDC in the United States alone since 2001 over 30,000 people have been infected with West Nile Virus. Of those 30,000 infections 1,200 have resulted in death. Excluding the cost of mosquito control efforts by governmental agencies the cost of WNV related health care alone in the US was estimated at $200 million dollars in 2002.
Mosquito borne diseases
Malaria. Malaria is found in more than 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions. Yellow Fever. Dengue. Chikungunya. West Nile Virus. Eastern Equine Encephalitis.Western Equine Encephalitis.
Mosquito Life Cycle
All mosquitoes pass through four developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Eggs are laid either in or near water or in moist depressions which will fill with water during the spring or in flood times. All larvae and pupae require water to develop to adults. Larvae may be predaceous or feed on organic debris and most need to be near the water surface to breathe. Overwintering can occur in any stage depending on the species. One generation per year is the rule for the majority of Maine species except for salt marsh species or others in wet seasons. Adult Mosquitoes may persist for many weeks or even several months, but the populations of all except salt marsh species usually start to decrease during hot and dry weather conditions later in the summer.
Adults do move around in short flights and may on rare occasions move long distances of up to a few miles. Most mosquitoes are active in the evening or on overcast days. During the day they remain resting on vegetation, taking flight only when a suitable host passes by. June is generally considered the month for woodland mosquitoes except in wet years when the season may be prolonged. Mosquitoes which appear briefly in the fall or spring and occasionally during the winter are emales of overwintering species. The distribution and seasonality of maine species is currently being studied.
5-What can I do to prevent Mosquitoes infestation?
The use of protective clothing and insect repellents are both methods which can provide some personal protection against adult mosquitoes, and are especially suitable for hikers, campers, picnickers, fishermen, and others who are active in mosquito infested areas. Types of protective clothing include veils or mosquito netting worn around the head, high boots, long sleeved shirts, long pants, gloves, etc. Insect netting fashioned into a bed net can also provide excellent protection for those camping or sleeping in the open. As with many biting flies, it is best to avoid the use of colognes and perfumes while in the field as these may enhance biting fly activity!
The following are various controls that can be undertaken to reduce the presence of mosquitoes, either by elimination of breeding places or destruction of the adults or larvae.
Eliminate Breeding Sites
Locate prior to mosquito emergence (late April) all stagnant water in unused buckets, pools, old tires, tin cans along with other similar discarded containers, and drain or remove these to destroy mosquito breeding sites. Be sure the eave gutters and downspouts are cleaned. Also, be sure to check and refresh water in small children's wading pools and animal water dishes and tubs to eliminate larvae. Keep dumpsters and trash receptacles covered to prevent water accumulation.
Eliminate Adult Resting Sites
Cut back or remove dense brush and similar vegetation from around houses and camps. Keep grassy areas mowed short. Promote natural breezes to discourage mosquito occurrence.
Encourage Natural Predators
Predators such as dragonflies, bats, birds, frogs and mosquito eating fish provide some natural control of mosquitoes, especially in and around small farm and garden ponds and salt marsh pools. Both the nymphs and adult dragonflies are natural enemies of mosquitoes. The nymphs, who are aquatic, feed on a variety of aquatic insects, including mosquito larvae. Dragonfly adults feed on flying adult mosquitoes. Mosquito eating fish can be used to control mosquito larvae in some situations.
Use of chemical control measures against mosquitoes is a complex and often sensitive issue due to the association of these pests with water. For this reason it is suggested that those wishing to pursue this route secure the services of a licensed pesticide applicator (PCO).
Contact a Flora Termite Professional
Call Flora Pest Control Professional an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of Mosquitoes.