Spring is back, meaning the pesky pests that are mosquitoes are back too! If you haven’t thought about mosquito prevention, then now is the perfect time to begin. Mosquitoes are a major nuisance and they can also pose health risks to humans, dogs, cats, and horses by transmitting diseases. Placing preventative measures throughout your yard to reduce their activity will help avoid the risk of spreading diseases. Keep reading to discover more about mosquitoes.
What Does a Mosquito Look Like?
Mosquitoes are very small, about 1/8” – 3/8” long. They have six legs and long mouthparts called a proboscis. Their coloring varies from grey to black with some having white, green, or blue markings. They are typically difficult to spot as they fly because of their small size. They are most active from dawn to dusk.
Do Mosquitoes Only Feed on Blood?
It’s a well-known fact that mosquitoes do feed on blood. Only female mosquitoes bite and feed on humans so they can lay fertile eggs. Most mosquito species breed continuously, so a female will typically search for a blood meal every two days to lay another batch of eggs. However, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers for their main source of energy.
Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?
Yes. Many people are bitten by mosquitoes with no side effects, except the typical itchy welt. However, mosquitoes can be the cause of many diseases. If they feed off a diseased host, some can spread pathogens that can infect other hosts it later bites.
Mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and dengue fever in the US. Around the world they are known to spread yellow fever, malaria, and chikungunya. These illnesses do not come with specific treatments and people have varied reactions to each virus, sometimes with fatal results.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes?
Mosquito prevention begins with eliminating all sources of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water to allow larvae to develop. This can be as easy as changing out your birdbath water daily, keeping gutters clear of debris to prevent clogging, and checking AC drip pans for standing water.
A small fan at outdoor gatherings can also help reduce mosquitoes. The most important way to repel mosquitoes is by wearing effective insect repellent sprays or protective clothing while outside.
Taking these steps can help to prevent high mosquito activity; though, it might be best to call your local pest control company to help with future infestations. A trained service professional can provide you with a customized prevention and treatment plan to help eliminate these pests throughout your property.