Do They Cause Damage?
Mosquitoes can transmit many diseases including malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, dengue and encephalitis. The presence of these diseases is considerably lower in the U.S. than in undeveloped parts of the world, however, in recent years, incidence of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, both mosquito-born, have been on the rise.
Do I Have An Infestation?
An overabundance of bites could be a sign that a mosquito treatment could be beneficial. Most species of mosquitoes bite near dawn and dusk but some prefer to bite during the day or night.
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Control begins with a thorough inspection of surrounding areas to locate any standing water which can be a breeding site. Any standing water should be eliminated if possible. Those sources that can’t be eliminated can be treated with and insect growth regulator (IGR) or a biological larvacide. Mosquitoes can be further reduced around homes and yards by making applications of pesticides to areas where mosquitoes rest during the day. This requires specialized application equipment and product selection to be effective.
How Can You Help?
Prevention involves removing breeding sites such as keeping rain gutters clean and free flowing, making sure rainwater flows away from the structure and doesn’t pool in the yard and removing or turning over containers and objects that will hold rainwater. Make sure window screens are in place and in good repair. If you must be outside during peak activity times, reduce skin exposure with long sleeves and long pants or use an appropriate insect repellant on skin and clothing.
Females lay their eggs, in or on standing water, or in moist soil near water (depending on species). Eggs hatch into larva, called ‘wigglers’ due to their jerky movements, which live in the water and go through several molts before transitioning to the pupal stage. At the end of the pupal stage, at the water’s surface, the pupal skin splits and the adult emerges.
Adult males and females feed on nectar but females need a blood meal to lay fertile eggs. They are relatively weak flyers but some species can fly more than 10 miles to seek a blood meal. While not feeding, they rest in shaded cool areas such as tall grasses, the bottom side of leaves on trees and shrubbery, and the underside of structures such as decks.