Mosquitoes Information & Overview
Generally considered a nuisance pest, mosquitoes may potentially carry diseases that affect humans including West Nile virus. Keeping mosquitoes away from your home or business is critical for both your comfort and safety. Hitmen Pest Solutions offers the most effective mosquito control program that minimizes adverse effects on the environment.
Mosquito Characteristics and Habits
- The adult mosquito that is responsible for West Nile virus is usually brownish or grayish brown, lacking any distinctive markings.
- Eggs are laid in rafts of 150-350 eggs in polluted or foul water in a variety of water-filled containers or areas. The eggs usually hatch within 2 days.
Mosquito Biology & Habitats:
- Mosquitoes have adapted to almost every kind of aquatic situation such as permanent ponds, marshes, temporary flood waters, woodland pools, drainage ditches, water in tree holes, leaves of plants or artificial containers.
- Most mosquitoes rest during the day in areas protected from the sun and typically feed at dusk dawn or night times. These areas include areas with heavy ground cover, bushes, and areas shaded by trees or buildings that remain moist. Additionally, mosquitoes may fly up to several miles in a night depending on wind currents.
The Hitmen Solution
Hitmen offers a mosquito treatment designed to temporarily reduce mosquito activity. Our goal is to identify and directly treat resting areas of adult mosquitoes. Your technician will treat tall grasses, trees, bushes, underneath leaves and low-lying shrubs. Additionally, your technician will make recommendations on how to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sources on your property as well as how to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes.
Additional Information on Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are found all around the world, with the exception of Antarctica and Iceland. Of the approximately 2,700 species of mosquitoes, about 176 inhabit the United States. Mosquitoes are notorious for sucking blood, leaving red itchy bumps and transmitting harmful diseases.
Mosquitoes are 1/4” to 2/5” in length (4-10 mm) long. They are thin-legged insects that have a long, sharp mouthpiece called a proboscis, which is used to puncture the skin and suck blood. Mosquitoes are covered in scales and can be any combination of brown, black, white or silver in color. Mosquitoes have delicate wings and can easily be heard when hovering around a host preparing for a blood meal. They are most active at dusk or at night in swampy wooded areas.
MOSQUITO LIFE STAGES
Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis, developing through four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Complete development from egg to adult usually takes from 10-14 days. Mosquitoes require stagnant water to breed and water sources include buckets, tires, pools, marshes or containers left around a property.
The first three life stages occur in water and the amount of time varies depending on water temperature and food availability. After emergence, the adults’ mate and the female seeks out a blood source before laying her eggs. Up to 100 eggs are laid, either in water, grass, vegetation or soil close to the water source.
When water is present, eggs hatch into the larval stage (2-3 days), although some species produce eggs, which overwinter. Larvae are worm-like organisms, which constantly wriggle around in the water. In the following pupa stage, the young mosquito mostly rests as its pupal case-hardens. The case eventually splits open and an adult mosquito delicately emerges. Most mosquitoes stay close to where they were hatched so they can raise another brood, producing one to four generations per year.
Of all the animals on earth, mosquitoes may pose the greatest threat to man’s health and existence. Disease epidemics from viruses spread by mosquitoes are happening more often, including the recent Zika (2015-2017) epidemic. West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the United States.
Only female mosquitoes bite and almost everyone has experienced a mosquito bite. Although most species of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some species do spread disease. For most viruses spread by mosquitoes, no vaccines or medicines are available.
Mosquitoes bite during the day and night, live indoors and outdoors and search for warm places as temperatures begin to drop. Some will hibernate in enclosed spaces, like garage sheds, and under (or inside) homes to survive cold temperatures. Except for the southernmost states in North America, mosquito season starts in the summer and continues into fall.
MOSQUITO EXTERMINATION AND CONTROL
The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes when at home or traveling is to prevent mosquito bites. Follow these suggestions to protect yourself and your home from mosquitoes:
Home and Personal Protection
- Make sure screen doors around your home are tight-fitting and in good condition. When camping, make sure tents, trailers and cabins are properly screened or use a mosquito net when sleeping.
- Use citronella candles outdoors and when camping.
- Keep grass and lawns cut short.
- Try to avoid areas where mosquitoes congregate, especially during twilight hours or wooded areas. When in these areas, wear protective clothing.
- Protective Clothing: Light-colored, tightly woven materials that cover arms and legs. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing.
- Repellents: DEET is the most commonly used mosquito repellant and a small amount can last from 2-4 hours. Repellant can be applied to skin or clothing, and be sure to avoid eyes, lips and other sensitive areas.
Mosquito Larvae Control:
- Eliminate items that retain water such as buckets, empty flower pots, tires, jars, bottles, and play equipment.
- Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
- Empty and clean kiddie pools at least once a week and store in an area that will not allow a pool to collect rainwater.
- Empty and refill pet water containers daily.
- Cover garbage and trash bins to prevent water accumulation.
- Keep ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish such as goldfish, mosquito fish, minnows, koi, and guppies and keep vegetation trimmed.
- Drain and fill low areas in your yard to prevent water accumulation.