mosquito on skinAre you tired of getting bit every time you gather your family in the backyard for a cookout? Do you find yourself constantly scratching mosquito bite after mosquito bite and wondering if you are wearing a cologne called “Beautifully Bitten”? Do you have reoccurring nightmares of being targeted and attacked by tiny insects probing and feasting on your body? Do you feel compelled to purchase large amounts of stock in the companies that manufacture insect repellent? Then you also may be asking yourself, “WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY MOSQUITOES?!” Ok, first of all, CALM DOWN! Let’s explore this issue.

Mosquitoes can be found around the world from the humid tropics to the freezing Arctic. They have been found in environments from below sea level up to altitudes of 14,000 feet. There are almost 3000 species known worldwide and they are classified in the same insect order as flies. For most species, the female has a long mouth part called a proboscis which is able to pierce the skin of humans and animals and suck their blood. Mosquitoes undergo what is called complete metamorphosis. (Fans of the 1978 “The Incredible Hulk” television series should recognize this word…….”and now when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs”). Oh sorry, I got distracted for just a moment. But you may say that it is a startling process for mosquitoes also, but unlike David Banner mosquitoes do not need rage to develop, what they need is water. They develop through four stages of growth, egg, larva, pupa, and adult, and the eggs need water to hatch. In fact, the larval and pupal stages also need a high moisture or aquatic environment to survive.

insect growth regulator for mosquitoesThe eggs hatch into larva commonly known as wrigglers, because of the way they wiggle or swim their way through the water. Next they become larva and they feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic matter. The pupal stage does not feed but are very mobile and if disturbed with tumble head over tail and are thus known as “tumblers”. This stage can last anywhere from one to three days and will then emerge as an ADULT MOSQUITO…….(cue scary music and blood-curdling screams). Okay, once again CALM DOWN! So why are they are on your property? Because there are conducive conditions existing that are providing an acceptable habitat for mosquitoes to survive and or thrive. So what are these conditions?

spraying for ticks and mosquitoesAny object capable of holding water for 5 or more days is a potential breeding site for mosquitoes. Remove old tires, buckets, tin cans, broken toys, and other water catching objects. Change water in bird baths by flushing with a hose at least once per week. Check your rain gutters to make sure water is able to flow freely and remove any debris that can hinder the flow. Check flower pots and drain any excess water. Keep swimming pools covered when not in use. Pools that are being used should not be an issue because the filtering action should eliminate mosquitoes. However small wading pools are prime breeding sites and the water should therefore be changed frequently. Ponds with fish are not a problem, because fish feed on the wrigglers and tumblers. A problem can develop from dense vegetation around the pond, because it prevents the fish from being able to find the mosquitoes. When practical, a mosquito control technician from a pest control company may add insect growth regulator to water areas. This material is nontoxic to fish, animals, and humans but reduces these larvae and pupae from maturing into biting adults.

dead mosquitoIn addition to you taking these measures, you can have a professional mosquito control technician (or mosquito exterminator in old terminology) to treat your property and to help give you peace of mind and kill mosquitoes to reduce your chances of getting bit. Spraying mosquito control materials on areas where they frequently rest nearby can reduce numbers. We provide a Tick & Mosquito Control program that can help to reduce these biting insects. If you would like to talk more about this service, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Barry Bradley -bio

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