MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes belong to the family of Culicidae and are grouped into the category of true flies. They are flying insects that are characterized by one pair of wings, long legs, and a skin piercing tube shaped mouth piece that is used to feed. The body of a mosquito is covered with small scales and they grow between 3 to 9mm in length. Interesting to know is that only females feed on blood and that their primary target are not humans, but animals.  While all mosquitoes feed off fluids from plants, only females require the protein in blood to nourish their eggs. Females will fly about 14 miles to feed on blood. However, there is a certain species that does not feed off blood at all. To reproduce female mosquitoes are found by their male counterpart using a feathery antenna. 

 

The climate in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky is favorable to mosquitoes, which seek warmer temperatures and moist environments to breed. Therefore, eradicating standing and stagnant water sources is crucial to mosquito control. This includes bird baths, ponds, buckets, and rain puddles. The diet of larvae varies among species but usually consists of organic material floating around in the water. Some species feed on other mosquitoes. 

 

Mosquitoes are a growing public concern because they are vectors for serious diseases such as malaria, dengue, and yellow fever. Humans can also contract the Zika and West Nile virus. Bites usually cause skin irritation, swelling, and itching. mosquitoes are most active at night and in an environment with cloudy and shady conditions. They are attracted to people who wear darker colors and perfume. As mentioned earlier, to ensure successful pest management, standing water sources need to be eliminated to reduce possible breeding grounds. mosquitoes remain in water but receive their oxygen from the air to breathe. The life cycle stages include egg, larval, pupal and adult. The amount of eggs females lay differs among species, some types of mosquitoes lay about 100 eggs in one sitting. The water surface encourages wigglers to hatch and adult mosquitoes leave the pupal case. After hatching, the wormlike larvae must feed to mold into the next stage. mosquitoes in the pupal stage are also called tumblers.
Some species of mosquitoes and flies can be mixed up but usually flies with long legs are smaller than mosquitoes and do not bite. 

 

In general, female and male mosquitoes look very similar. However, a closer look reveals certain differences, such as the proboscis (tubular mouth part), which is smooth in females and bushy in males. The same holds true for their antenna that is used for hearing. While the female’s antenna looks smooth, the male’s antenna is longer and feathery. Commonly the females live longer and are bigger than their male counterparts. 

 

To control mosquitoes, we use integrated process that includes an inspection of water sources that can serve as breeding grounds and a monthly treatment plan for the outside. We will identify the problem, offer consultation, and recommend necessary measures. Rain gutters, tree holes, toys, unsealed crawl spaces, and other items in your yard could contribute to a mosquito infestation. We will point those areas of concern out to you and provide information and assistance to help you reduce mosquitoes. Contrary to popular believe store bought repellents are ineffective and do not provide lasting relieve. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are largely unaffected by home remedies, such as candles with citronella oil. 

Fun facts on mosquitoes:


  • of roughly 2700 species worldwide, 176 are found in the US.

  • they fly between 1 and 1.5 miles/hr

  • one study suggests that a full moon boost activity by 500%