Riley Pest Management
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FLORIDA MOSQUITOS 
A source for information on mosquitos

House Mosquito  Culex spp.

 

 

Size:

About ½ inch in length

Color:

Pale brown with whitish bands across the abdomen

Behavior:

It can be stated, most confidently, that the mosquito is the bane of man’s existence when it comes to human and animal relations. No other creature has caused mankind so much annoyance, grief and disaster than this blood-feeding pest. The mosquito not only takes our blood in order to provide nutrients to make eggs, which is an annoyance resulting in minor pain and itching, but it can leave behind serious health threats such as viruses, protozoans, and other disease-causing pathogens. The house mosquito is actually a type of fly with a thin body, thin wings and long legs. The females are easily recognized by the long thin proboscis, or mouthparts, extending from the bottom, front of the head. Only the female mosquito bites; male mosquitoes feed on the nectar in flowers. When a mosquito bites, she injects an anticoagulating agent into the skin to prevent the blood from clotting and allowing her to feed. It is the body’s immune response to the anticoagulant that causes the reddened welts and itching. People have varying reactions to mosquito bites, with some individuals experiencing rather large welts and severe itching. Mosquito-borne disease is likely the number one cause of death in developing countries, and it has many times been instrumental in changing the course of history. Fortunately, the United States is fairly free of mosquito-borne diseases except for various types of encephalitis, most notably West Nile Virus (WNV) in recent years. Birds serve as the environmental reservoir for WNV. Some bird species, such as crows and blue jays, are killed by the virus, while many other species are relatively unaffected. Mosquitoes feeding on infected birds pick up the virus and can subsequently transmit WNV to people and to horses.

Heard High Pitched Buzzing of Mosquitoes?

We have all had to deal mosquitoes. The high pitched buzz tells us that we have mosquitoes nearby, and that we should beware since mosquito bites might not be far behind. Mosquitoes can chase us indoors during the best time of the year. Is there anything short of pitching a tent that you can do to take back your outdoor living space around your home? Orkin Mosquito Service can help.

Mosquitoes or Flies?

mosquitoes biting a humanMosquitoes can be confused with flies. Mosquitoes have long legs, and a long proboscis or “nose” that female mosquitoes use to “bite” people and pets to draw blood, needed to lay eggs. Most flies won’t bite and even long legged flies are usually much smaller than mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are pesky pests and can spread disease such as West Nile Virus, dengue, and malaria. Believe it or not, there are over 1,000 cases of malaria every year in North America. More commonly, though, mosquitoes threaten family events more than health.

Control:

Complete control or elimination of house mosquitoes around any property is not possible. Mosquito reduction, however, is very possible and involves a number of components: Habitat Reduction – Getting rid of any item that could contain water and hold it for more than seven days needs to be addressed. • Empty and refill birdbaths at least once per week. • Drill holes in the bottom of tire swings to prevent rainwater from accumulating. • Avoid using barrels or other containers to capture rainwater unless the container is emptied every few days. • Empty children’s “kiddie” pools regularly. • Examine gutters regularly. Conditions, such as debris or loose guttering, should be corrected. • Fill in accessible tree holes with a material that will not harm the tree. Check with a local nursery for advice. • Use soil to fill in low areas in lawns and landscaped areas that allow rainwater to collect and stand for more than seven days. • Install an agitator in garden ponds used in landscaping or buy fish that eat mosquito larvae. The wave actions created by an agitator can prevent mosquito adults from successfully emerging from pupae. Controlling Mosquito Larvae — For properties that have ditches, small ponds or decorative garden ponds, environmentally friendly mosquito larvicides can be applied to the water by a pest professional in areas in which mosquitoes can breed. • The insect growth regulator (IGR), methoprene, affects only insects, interfering with a mosquito larva’s ability to pupate into an adult. IGR products are generally applied about once every 30 days to help reduce mosquito populations. • Bacterial mosquito control products that affect only mosquito larvae also can be used, but such products require specific timing in order to obtain maximum results. Controlling Adult Mosquitoes — The best way to limit mosquitoes is to prevent adult mosquitoes from developing by eliminating or treating breeding sources as described above. Because some adult mosquitoes are most likely always going to be present, treatments can be applied around a home to control as many as possible. • A pest professional can apply residual products to shrubs and other vegetation around the home and yard. Since mosquitoes spend most of their time during the day resting in vegetation, such treatments can effectively reduce mosquito populations. Such treatments need to be periodically reapplied during the warm months when mosquitoes are active. • Some of the mosquito traps available commercially do attract and capture large numbers of mosquitoes. Concern may exist that such traps may draw mosquitoes from adjacent properties, so locating the trap at the perimeter of the property is preferable to placing it next to the patio, deck, etc. where people are active.

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-- Duggan Cooley, former CEO- RCS

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