Mosquitoes are common, flying insects that live in most parts of the world. Over 3,500 types of mosquitoes can be found worldwide.
Not all mosquitoes bite people or animals. When mosquitoes bite people, the most common reactions to the bite are itching and swelling.
Some mosquitoes can be vectors. A vector is an animal, insect, or tick that spreads pathogens (germs) to people and animals. The germs (viruses and parasites) that mosquitoes spread can make you sick.
Some mosquitoes bite, but do not spread germs. These types of mosquitoes are called nuisance mosquitoes, and boy are they the most annoying!
Almost everyone in the world has been bitten by a mosquito. Although most types of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some types of mosquitoes spread viruses that can cause disease. For most viruses spread by mosquitoes, no vaccines or specific medicines are available. Only some types of mosquitoes can spread germs (viruses and parasites) to people and animals. West Nile virus is one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the continental United States. Dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in US states and territories, including Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Malaria was common in the United States into the 20th century. Most of the continental United States has Anopheles mosquitoes (particularly An. freeborn and An. quadrimaculatus), which can spread malaria. Local US mosquito-borne spread has resulted in more than 150 locally acquired cases and more than 60 limited outbreaks in the United States over the past 50 years. In addition, more than 2,000 cases of malaria are reported annually in the United States, with most cases occurring in returned travelers. For a mosquito to get infected with a germ and then spread that germ to people or animals is a complex process.
Although it’s rare, mosquitoes can make you very sick. If a mosquito takes a blood meal from a person or animal and the blood meal contains a germ, then the germ must pass from the mosquitoes’ gut into its body. Mosquitoes do not transmit all kinds of germs, only those that can grow or multiply in the body of the mosquito.
The germ multiplies in the body of the mosquito. Then the germ moves from the body into the salivary glands where saliva is made. This process takes 2-3 weeks.
The next time a mosquito bites a person or animal, the germ passes from the salivary glands into the blood of the person or animal being bitten.
The person or animal can get sick.
Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
Fill tree holes to prevent them from filling with water.
If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
Use larvicides to treat large bodies of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out. When using larvicides, always follow label instructions.
Wear loose fit clothing. Mosquitoes can bite you through tight fit clothing.
Install or repair and use window and door screens.
Close doors, including garage doors. Do not leave doors propped open.
Use air conditioning when possible. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under sinks, in showers, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room. Mosquitoes entering your house from outdoors can start laying eggs indoors.
Take the following steps:
Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water, such as vases or flowerpot saucers, to remove mosquito eggs and larvae.
Use an indoor insecticide if you still have mosquitoes in your home after installing and repairing screens and emptying and scrubbing containers.
An indoor insect spray or fogger will kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest.
These products work quickly but may need to be reapplied.
Always follow label directions.
Using only an indoor insecticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes.
Don’t let mosquitos ruin a fun summer day. Call Pest Solutions a call so you can get back outside.