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If you have ever been bitten by a mosquito, you know how utterly annoying these pests can be. However, their bites are more than just a nuisance; they could be deadly. Mosquitoes are renowned carriers of some of the worst diseases man has ever seen, including West Nile virus, Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever, and so much more. In fact, disease from mosquito bites has been blamed for the death of millions or even billions of people worldwide throughout history. While these truly dangerous mosquitoes aren’t common here in the United States, they do still exist, so it’s important to protect your property.
customized treatment plan
Each property is unique and as such we want to make sure we customize each mosquito service to your specific yard needs.
Mosquitoes tend to breed in the moist parts of the yard. Each treatment our Mosquito Professional will search out and treat any breeding site to prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property.
Mosquitoes will nest around your property on the undersides of leaves in the lawn, bushes, and trees and other cool parts of the yard.
what are mosquitoes?
A mosquito is a small, flying insect that generally runs roughly only around one-eighth of an inch in size. This makes them lightweight, hard to see, and even harder to feel. Mosquitoes generally feed on plant nectar and sugars, which they gain access to it with a long, thin mouth tube that can reach into even tiny areas. Contrary to popular belief, it is only female mosquitoes that pierce skin and feast on blood; they use the proteins in blood to produce viable eggs that will actually hatch. What this means is that those who have a high-sugar diet will be more appetizing to mosquitoes, but even a completely sugar-free diet isn’t immune to their bites.
Are mosquitoes dangerous? Most people wouldn’t think so here in the United States. They can be easily squashed with a swat of a hand or a swing of a newspaper. And yet, as we discussed earlier, these creatures can carry some of the nastiest and most deadly diseases we have ever seen as a species. They’re dangerous for our pets too—mosquitoes carry parasitic heartworms that can be fatal to dogs and cats if they go undetected.
how we prevent mosquitoes
We also recommend the following mosquito prevention steps:
- Remove tree stumps that can collect water from your property
- Eliminate any standing water from your property.
- Keep gutters clear of clogs and debris.
- Fix leaky outdoor hoses and faucets.
- Keep the grass in your yard cut short.
- Fill in low-lying areas in your lawn that collect rainwater.
- Keep containers that collect water upside down when not in use.
What health risks come from mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are transmitters of certain diseases that can grow in their bodies. They contract these diseases by biting an infected host. If they contract a virus that can grow within them, it will take about 2–3 weeks for the virus to multiply and return to their salivary glands. If the germ is in their saliva when they bite a new host, it can pass into the host’s bloodstream and infect the animal or person. Specific types of mosquitoes can only grow specific viruses.
Diseases that are often mosquito-borne include:
- West nile virus
- Triple E
- Yellow fever
- Zika virus
What are common types of mosquitoes?
In the U.S., you can find over 200 types of mosquitoes. Within these types, there are 12 species that can spread disease to humans. Below are some of the most common mosquitoes found in the U.S.
These mosquitoes are also called malaria mosquitoes and can be found all over the country. As you may have guessed, they are linked to spreading malaria. However, there have not been many cases over the last 50 years in the United States of malaria from mosquito infection.
Dark in color, these types of mosquitoes can most easily be identified by how they draw blood from a person. Females stand at a 45 degree angle while taking blood whereas most other types of mosquitoes are completely parallel on the skin. After feeding, female anopheles lay individual eggs on top of shallow, still water. The eggs will hatch within 2 days to 2 weeks after they’re laid.
There are two types of Aedes mosquitoes present in the U.S.: Aedes aegypti that typically feed on people and Aedes albopictus that feed on animals and people. The distinction of hosts is important because the subset that feeds on animals and people are less likely to contract germs and diseases that spread.
Aedes aegypti are more likely to contract germs because of their host exclusivity and preference for humans. Some viruses these types of mosquitoes contract include zika, dengue, and chikungunya. These types of mosquitoes are common in more tropical and subtropical climates.
Aedes mosquitoes can be black and white in coloring and lay groups of eggs in or near stagnant water. They tend to bite around the legs and feet of their hosts. They like to come inside homes as well looking for cool spots to rest during the day.
These mosquitoes can be found in a variety of colors including gray or white with silver, blue, or green iridescent scales. They are small in size and difficult to see. They typically like to feed off of animals, like birds, but if no animals are around they will feed on people.
Like other mosquitoes, they like to come out around dawn and dusk and prefer humid or moist areas around stagnant water. This is because Culex mosquitoes lay their eggs in these water sources. Like Anopheles mosquitoes, they lay one egg at a time on the water. The eggs then group together and form rafts.
What attracts mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes can often be found around standing water, which is where they need to lay eggs. This includes lakes, ponds, marshes, and even kiddy pools or bird baths.
A gathering of people is also attractive to mosquitoes because of the ample source of hosts and food. More specifically, the carbon dioxide emitted by a group of humans and animals is what signals to mosquitoes that it’s feeding time. Body heat and sweat are also indicators to these insects that hosts are available.
Why do mosquitoes bite some people more often than others?
The simple answer is blood type. Your blood type is determined by the level of proteins in your blood. Most people give off imperceptible secretions of their blood type that mosquitoes can pick up as they fly by. Research has shown that different species of mosquitoes prefer different blood types. So, depending on your blood type and the species native to your area, you might be a frequent host choice.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
When a mosquito bites you, it first pierces your skin with its long mouthpart (also called the proboscis). At the same time they suck your blood and feed, they also inject you with their own saliva. The saliva on the surface of the skin before they bite us also acts as a numbing agent so that they can keep feeding without us noticing.
Your body reads the saliva injected into your skin as an infected antigen (which it is, oftentimes, as this is what carries any disease the mosquito is hosting). Your antibodies address this threat by producing an itch and a red bump to alert you of the possible danger. Some people may have a more severe reaction to a bite than others, including children, people with immune disorders, and anyone who hasn’t been bitten by a mosquito before.
How to treat mosquito bites
Care and recovery for mosquito bites is luckily very simple. The best course of action is to first clean the bitten area. Then, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and itching. You can also leave a mix of baking soda and water paste on the bite for 10 minutes if the itching doesn’t stop with ice alone. Aloe vera is another soothing option to stop the itch. Lastly, an over-the-counter antihistamine cream should help any extreme itching.
Don’t scratch a mosquito bite (easier said than done) because excessive scratching could cause the bite to open and create an infection.
What repels mosquitoes?
DEET mosquito control products definitely keep mosquitoes away, but they can also make humans ill if ingested. For more health-conscious options, there are plenty of essential oils that also repel these insects. Try mixtures of the following (just to name a few):
- Lavender oil
- Lemon eucalyptus oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Soybean oil
You can also use citronella candles at a party to keep mosquitoes away from your guests. Growing certain plants can repel them naturally from your yard, including lavender, marigold, catmint, or citronella grass.
How can Hawx help get rid of mosquitoes?
If your mosquito infestation is uncontrollable with DEET or the natural options listed above, then a professional pest control service may be your strongest option.
Our Hawx Outdoor Package is great for mosquito control (and it also addresses ticks and aphids too). First, we inspect your yard to determine which areas need treatment. Then we use a backpack mister to apply products to these areas. This method also targets any areas with standing water by using a pest control solution that both eliminates and prevents further egg-laying.