One of the best-known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil. There are about 170 different kinds of mosquito species in North America alone.Habits:
Mosquitoes can breed in any form of stagnant water, including ponds, marshes, flood waters, woodland pools, drainage ditches, water in tree holes, leaves of plants and artificial containers. Mosquitoes regularly feed on nectar, although females require at least one blood meal before they can lay fertile eggs. They tend to bite most often at dusk and dawn.Threats:
Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases including West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis. In recent years, West Nile virus has become a serious concern in the United States. Signs of West Nile virus include flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases, it can be a potentially life threatening infection with high fever, head and body aches, worsening weakness, confusion and even coma.Prevention:
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths and baby pools. Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed.
- Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, wear long pants and sleeves, and use an insect repellant containing DEET.
- sIf you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact a pest management company or your local mosquito abatement district.