More than just annoying and itchy, mosquitoes have tested positive locally for the West Nile Virus. Keep reading to learn how to protect your home and family.
Mosquitoes are a pest that are capable of ruining a great day at the park, a romantic evening on a deck or from even spending time in the garden. People will do anything to avoid being bit. They will wear long pants during the summer, use hats with screen veils and even spray themselves with everything imaginable hoping that no mosquito will find them. However, mosquito populations are more active today than ever. If you enjoy the great outdoors, get used to dealing with mosquitoes. They are here to stay. There are over 150 species of mosquitoes in the United States. Some are able to fully develop from eggs in less than a week. Most take 10-14 days to reach maturity but what is important is they grow rapidly.
Mosquitoes need water and high levels of moisture to sustain themselves and reproduce. They will readily move to moist, shady areas under decks, around pools, in garages, in dense shrubbery or flowers, any kind of ivy, holes or nooks of trees, water in a clogged rain gutter or simply the water on a leaf of shrubs which are being watered during the hot summer months. Although female mosquitoes may live for up to a year, most die in the season they were born. Mosquito populations are able to continue from year to year because one stage is able to overcome winter and start their cycle again the next spring. Each species has different winter survivors. It may be the adult, the pupa, the larva or the egg.
Some adult females don’t need a blood meal to begin to reproduce. Most mosquitoes lay several hundred eggs and are able to generate huge populations within a short period of time. Although standing water is the prime location for them to reproduce, there are many locations around the home that afford fertile egg laying areas. Such places include water in the bottom of planters, drainage streams, street sewers which don’t drain completely, rain barrels, buckets of water, swimming pools, drain lines from rain gutters, old tires, mulch around the home, shrubs, trees, firewood, slow moving water, small decorative ponds for pet fish, bird baths, water accumulating around windows or doors, water accumulating from an automatic sprinkler system, pet water dishes, leaks around water spickets and just about anywhere water is used or is able to accumulate during the warm summer months anywhere in the country.
Most people believe mosquitoes are coming from great distances to their yard in search of food. In fact, most mosquitoes migrate to a yard first and foremost because there is something about the yard which the mosquito finds attractive for living. In most cases, mosquitoes are finding a great place to live around the home and then take advantage of the free meals the homeowner or their children present when outside in the yard.
Mosquitoes won’t migrate far from where they will find shelter and protection from the hot sun. Shade and moisture are two key ingredients needed for their survival and these of course, can be found around any home. If your home is on a lake or pond, the mosquitoes could be breeding in the water. Generally, they will do so close to shore. Don’t expect to find them more than 10 feet from shore. They like shallow water and will keep themselves close to plant life and wet lands if possible. Open deep water which is moving is not the kind of water they like for reproduction. Barns or sheds are another great location for reproduction or shelter. The underside of most decks which are built close to the ground offers great shady shelter and protection for weak mosquitoes susceptible to the hot sun.
It is important to locate any area around the home where mosquitoes may be seeking shelter or using for reproduction. Many homeowners are creating perfect breeding and shelter conditions which are attracting mosquitoes. If you have any of the conditions described above, chances are you will have mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will stay where the breeding and shelter areas are best for them. If you are creating a moist shady area around your home, you will be luring mosquitoes. Once they find the shade and moisture to live, expect them to find you and your family for their food!
Mosquito control is easy when we determine where they are living or breeding, like in any of the sites listed above. Chances are mosquitoes are taking advantage of such conditions. To find out pricing and more information on our mosquito treatment, visit our Services page.
Let’s recap. These are possible places around your home that are perfect mosquito habitats. If possible, try to minimize moisture in these areas:
- Bottom of pots or planters.
- Pet water bowl (rinse and keep clean with fresh water daily).
- Any shady or moist area in shrubbery, around decks, garage, wood piles, gutters, widows, doors, old tires, around your water hose spickets, etc.
- Sprinkler system.
- Pool/pond drainage areas.
- Rain barrels.
- Any standing water.
Check out Texas A&M’s Interactive Mosquito Safari to learn more about these pest.