What are Mosquitoes?
Thousands of species of mosquitoes inhabit the earth, although only about 16 species call New Zealand home. Mosquitoes feed on nectar like many other insects but female mosquitoes will also feed on the blood of humans and animals to assist with egg production. Mosquitoes typically emerge from their daytime resting places to feed primarily at dawn and dusk. While the male mosquito does not have mouthparts suited to piercing human skin, the female does. Female mosquitoes will use their mouthparts to puncture skin and inject saliva into the wound to prevent the blood from clotting. The discomfort, irritation and swelling from a mosquito bite is the result of the body’s immune response to this saliva. The blood meal taken by the female is used to supplement her diet with essential proteins and iron which she uses (along with carbohydrates derived from plant nectar) to assist in the development of her eggs. Mosquitoes in urban areas may lay eggs in ornamental ponds, rain gutters, bird baths, rain collection barrels, and other surfaces capable of holding water.
Why do I have them?
Mosquitoes breed on or near standing water. This ultimately means that any source of standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Because the female mosquito only requires a thin film of water in which to lay her eggs, tin cans, bird feeders, watering cans, old discarded tires, and clogged gutters may harbor these unpleasant pests. Mosquitoes are also known to travel as much as 20 miles in search of a blood meal, so it is safe to presume that they may also become problematic where no water source can be located.
Are they dangerous?
Mosquitoes are well known as transmitters of disease and illness to humans, domestic animals and wildlife as well as causing irritation, discomfort and frustration. Among the viruses known to be carried by mosquitoes are:
- Dengue Fever
- West Nile Virus
- Yellow Fever
How do I get rid of Mosquitoes?
Reducing the instances of mosquito bites and breeding areas can be an extremely frustrating task for any property owner. Call Mosquito General to take control of the situation, and let our highly trained technicians begin by making a detailed inspection of your property. From here, we will consult with you to create a customized mosquito control solution, to ensure that your mosquito problems are taken care of as quickly and effectively as possible.
How can I prevent mosquitoes returning in the future?
Preventing mosquitoes can be very difficult but there are some measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of future problems:
- Check frequently for standing water and flush bird baths and rain barrels at least once per week
- Keep lawns well-maintained to prevent adult mosquitoes from resting in tall grasses
- Maintain aeration system or fountains in ornamental ponds (inhibits development of mosquito larvae)
- Inspect rain gutters for inadequate drainage
- Replacing dense, low-growing perennial plants such as Ivy and Pachysandra with natural strong-scented or herbaceous perennials.