I am constantly explaining to my customers that most treatments are beneficial even if they don’t have a current issue. For instance, when trying to sell a pest control program I am often told, “Well, we’re not really seeing anything now but if we do we’ll be sure to give you a call.” Generally, I will not push the issue because as a consumer myself, I don’t like to be “sold” to and with the current state of our economy I can certainly appreciate not spending money on things I don’t yet see a need for. However, we must take into account the possibility of issues occurring in the future. If you were to wait to call an exterminator after you see ants all over your kitchen counter it is not only going to be much more difficult to get rid of them but most pest control companies are going to see that your need is much higher and could take advantage of your situation by charging more than they would have if they knew you had no or fewer problems. It’s not because they want to take advantage of your situation, they just know that it is now going to need more time, more trips, and more products.
This is the time of year where the temperature is dropping thus humidity and increased moisture goes down with it. Going back to not paying for things we don’t see a need for, I specifically see people cancelling their mosquito service this time of year. “We’re not really seeing them anymore so we don’t need you to come out and treat.” Our mosquito program runs from April through October and yet it never fails that we will have people wait and call in July to begin treatments and then turn around and cancel after August. There’s a reason it is important to “start it early and finish late.”
Do you ever wonder where mosquitoes go in the fall and winter? Depending on the species of mosquito there is one thing for certain – they haven’t gone anywhere! They are still in your lawn, pond, creek, woods, etc. Mosquitoes function in warm weather thus they remain inactive in colder months. Some mosquitoes lay winter eggs that are dormant in the soil until warmer weather returns. Beginning in the fall, the female mosquito lays her eggs in wet areas. The eggs will begin to hatch when conditions become favorable again. This typically occurs in the spring when temperatures rise and rain falls.
Some mosquitoes will survive colder weather in their larval stage. Mosquito larvae will need water even in winter. When the water temperature drops, it will cause the larvae to go into what is called diapause. This is when certain insects can adapt to weather change by suspending their development during a period of rest and resume activity when the water temperature goes back up.
Other mosquito species survive winter in the adult stage. In fall, the mosquitoes mate and the male dies. The females will spend the cold months hidden. They may do this in areas like wood piles or animal burrows. In the spring, when the temperatures are consistently around 60 degrees or more, the female will require a blood meal to develop her eggs and the season will begin again. Once she has fed, the female mosquito will lay her eggs in whatever standing water she can find.
As you can see, it is very important to understand that treatment schedules are in place for a reason. It is just as important to treat things you can’t always see before waiting for it to become a nuisance. My advice; hire a pest control company that controls adult mosquitoes with a monthly mist spray system and make sure they also use a larvaecide. After that, let it run its course. It will be much more effective.