All About Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are more than just an annoying pest. They can transmit several infectious diseases to people, pets, and livestock and these illnesses are continuously on the rise. According to the CDC, California is the top state for mosquito-borne diseases, with only the territory of Puerto Rico having more. Since 2003, California has had 6,799 human cases of West Nile virus reported with 303 fatalities.
Types of Mosquitoes
There are more than 50 species of mosquitoes found in California and each species has some differences in life cycle and behavior. Throughout the state we have over 60 Mosquito Abatement Districts that conduct area-wide programs to keep mosquito populations, and the diseases they transmit, in check. However, some types of mosquitoes (such as Aedes mosquitoes) have limited dispersal and are usually found within 100 meters of their larval development site. These insects are day biters and can transmit Dengue Fever, Dog Heartworm, and Zika Virus.
The two other major types are Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes. Culex bite during the early morning and evening time, transmitting Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. Anopheles mosquitoes transmit Malaria, which occasionally flares up in California when infected visitors are bitten by this type of mosquito (Anopheles).
Know Your Enemy: Basic Facts about Mosquitoes
- Mosquitoes prefer damp, dark areas. They tend to reside in damp areas near stagnant water – the perfect breeding environment for female mosquitos. These insects are also attracted to body odor, warmth, carbon dioxide and light!
- Males and Females Have Distinct Behavioral Patterns. Like a large majority of insects, you can easily detect a female from a male. With mosquitos, the clearest signs of sex is based on their eating patterns – with males and females feeding mainly on plant nectar and fruit, yet female mosquitoes will also feed on human blood to help their eggs develop.
- Breeding Behaviour. A female mosquito can lay up to 400 eggs at a time in water, which hatch into larvae after 3 days. Adult mosquitoes emerge 12 days later and have a life cycle of around 14 days. Breeding is the most successful when these insects have clean access to food, water and shelter. If one of these sources is scarce, you can eliminate procreation and prevent an infestation.
How to Reduce Mosquito Infestations in your Home
Mosquito control is a 3 step process, best left to professionals, which involves surveillance, source reduction, and chemical controls. However, homeowners can do many things to reduce mosquito populations around their property, exclude them from inside the home and lessen the chance of being bitten:
- Eliminate standing water breeding areas by disposing of containers in the yard that may collect water such as old tires, buckets, and other containers. Drain water weekly from potted plant saucers, tire swings, bird baths etc. You should clean clogged rain gutters and fill in tree cavities or low areas where water can accumulate too. Stagnant hot tubs, pools, or ponds will need to be drained or you could have them treated with larvicides.
- Exclude mosquitoes from the structure by inspecting screens on doors and windows to make sure they are in good repair and tight fitting. Vents should be fitted with screens and doors should have good seals.
- People can protect themselves from being bitten by reducing time outdoors, particularly in early morning and evening hours when Culex mosquitoes are most active. They can also wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin and/or clothing.
When you Need Mosquito Pest Control
Unfortunately, not all mosquitoes can be eliminated as some species will fly for miles from their breeding sites. In such cases, a professional pest control service may be a fruitful option for your property. These mosquito removal experts will target resting and hiding sites on the structure and in the foliage surrounding the property with insecticides that kill adult mosquitoes and also prevent larval development. Planet Oranges offers surveillance and “greener” botanical mosquito insecticide options, which offer less residual than traditional insecticides and is safe for the whole family.
Benefits of Mosquito Pest Control
Mosquito control services provide customers with a quick, easy and cost-effective solution. Planet Orange’s pest control services ensure that you can still utilize your yard with minimal annoyance and risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Our professionals will apply approved products to all of the hiding places mosquitos use during the day and prevent the likely procreation, and subsequent infestation, posed by these deadly creatures.
Whilst store bought mosquito products are plentiful, their promise to eliminate your exposure to these bugs tends to fall short of the mark. Wristbands and phone apps used as mosquito control may prove successful in some cases, but they tend to maintain their usefulness for only a few minutes. The same can be said for skin repellents, which necessitates you to spray your entire body with chemicals – inevitably leaving parts susceptible for mosquitos to snack on. Consequently, professional mosquito control provides a wide array of benefits that DIY strategies simply cannot.
At Planet Orange, we use a combination of chemical misting to prevent these creatures from roaming your property and causing chaos. Our licensed professionals are also knowledgeable of all the main breeding locations and can present you with an effective solution to your pest problem.
Contact Planet Orange for Mosquito Control
If you would like further guidance on mosquito control in Northern California, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Planet Orange. We can provide a thorough pest control inspection and mosquito treatment plan performed by one of our licensed experts.