Stealth Mode: MosquitoesNothing can ruin a night roasting s’mores quicker than persistent mosquitoes. But why do these blood-sucking flies bite so much and what can be done to prevent being bitten?
To start, let’s take a closer look at our culprit. Mosquitoes are classified as flies, meaning they only have two wings unlike other insects, such as butterflies, that typically have four. Mosquitoes of the mid-Atlantic U.S. are generally 0.5 inches and colored brown, grey, white, and/or black. This small size and fast flight ability make them difficult to swat with your hands. When it comes to biting people, only the females of most mosquito species require a blood meal – the males feed on plant nectar, – and that’s only when she is ready to produce eggs, otherwise she also prefers nectar.
This blood meal is how the female mosquito starts the life cycle. The proteins allow for the production of eggs, of which she will lay them on, in, or near a water source. The larvae hatch and remain in the water feeding on algae and other organisms for approximately 5 days. Once ready, the larvae will transition into pupae, often referred to as a “tumbler”, where they will spend the next 2-4 days. Finally, the adult mosquitoes will emerge and begin searching for a mate.
Mosquitoes are known for carrying pathogens that are harmful to human and pet health. Some common pathogens include West Nile virus, Zika virus, and dog heartworms, but several more exist. So, what can be done to prevent being bitten by these annoying pests and keep your family and pets safe? Mosquito netting, a mesh between 0.6-1.2 mm, can be used to cover outdoor gathering areas and keep mosquitoes at bay. Staying inside a screened-in porch or using a product that repels mosquitoes can also help prevent these nuisance flies. Looking for a hardier solution? Home Paramount offers monthly mosquito treatment services that are applied outside your home, which can help reduce the number of bites you receive while enjoying the comfort of your own backyard. Give us a call to set up a free inspection today!