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Residential Pest Control – Mosquitos

Mosquitoes are from the Culicidae family and are a type of fly. They are grouped into the “true fly” category and the word mosquito is Spanish for “little fly.” Although they are undoubtedly a nuisance to man as well as the beast, these creatures have been around for many years. The oldest known mosquito with an anatomy similar to our modern mosquitoes was found in amber over 79 million years old! That is why it’s so important to find the best mosquito repellent.

Although males and females both feed through a proboscis, only female mosquitoes suck blood. Females need protein to nourish their eggs and this requires her to take a blood meal to reproduce. Although many types of female mosquitoes feed upon humans, they also feed on the blood of amphibians, birds, and other mammals. Male mosquitoes prefer to drink nectar or other sugary substances. Mosquitos can be more harmful than flies on dog.

All mosquitoes need water to reproduce. Some species can even lay eggs in as little as two tablespoons of water. That’s why experts suggest you regularly clean your roof gutters and bird baths for adequate mosquito control. Just a little bit of standing water can harbor hundreds of mosquito eggs.

Mosquito bites itch because when the female bites you, she injects chemicals into your body that keep your blood from clotting and to reduce pain. These chemicals irritate and, thus, itching.

Mosquitoes can’t see very well. They can generally only identify a person closer to 30 feet away. Instead of vision, mosquitoes rely upon susceptible thermal receptors located on their antennae that help them locate the blood near the surface of your skin. The receptor’s sensitivity can triple under extremely humid conditions, which is why you notice an increased need for mosquito repellent in the early spring and mid-summer months.

Mosquitoes can live a relatively long time in bug years. If they don’t fall victim to being slapped at or covered in insecticide, the male can live about 2 weeks and the female for as long as a month. During her lifetime, the female can lay from 1-3 batches of eggs, each containing several hundred new mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes are also attracted by the CO2 you expel when you breathe. The modern mosquito trap is based on this principle, and it expels carbon dioxide, moisture, and other chemicals to attract mosquitoes before trapping them safely inside.

Worldwide, mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature. They are responsible for transmitting various encephalitis diseases, which cause brain inflammation or death. These include Eastern and Western equine, St. Louis, Japanese, and La Crosse encephalitis as well as Rift Valley Fever, Dengue, Malaria, and Yellow Fever. Malaria alone is responsible for almost 1 million deaths yearly, most in sub-Saharan Africa. There are a variety of charity organizations that collect money to donate a mosquito net to needy families at risk of contracting the deadly disease.

A female mosquito can drink up to three times her weight in blood. The amount she takes is relatively small, however, it would take well over a million bites to drain all of your body’s blood.

Bug zappers are useless against mosquitoes. Studies have shown that less than 1% of bugs killed by zappers are mosquitoes or other biting insects. The devices kill beneficial or harmless insects and have no effect on the mosquito control of the mosquito population. The best way to manage the little bloodsuckers is to maintain an anti-mosquito yard. Keep areas dry and sanitary; if that doesn’t work, then apply a natural mosquito repellent to any exposed body parts and don’t forget to put some on your pets too.

You can’t catch AIDS from a mosquito bite. Studies with HIV clearly show that the virus responsible for the AIDS infection is regarded as food to the mosquito and is digested along with the blood meal. As a result, mosquitoes ingest HIV-infected blood digest that blood within 1-2 days and completely destroy any virus particles that could potentially produce a new infection. If that’s not enough comfort, then you can relax knowing mosquitoes do not ingest enough HIV particles when taking a blood meal to pass the disease onto another person.

There’s no doubt that the mosquito is an interesting insect, as well as a deadly one. They’ve been around for millions of years now and show no sign of leaving any time soon. In the meantime, protect yourself, your family, and your pets with a repellent when going outdoors for any period of time. Wear light-colored clothing (mosquitoes prefer dark colors) and remember that knowledge is the best mosquito repellent available. Clean up any wet areas outside of your home and keep grass and weedy areas mowed regularly to prevent infestations. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a bite-free summer.

About the author: Timothy Evans

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