If you have battled the terrible creature called mosquito, then you already know, it’s a daunting task. It is not one to be taken lightly. Mosquitoes are tiny, but quick. They seem to multiply in the blink of an eye. If you see one on Saturday, given favorable weather conditions, you’re likely to see 100 on Sunday. The reality of an infestation of mosquitoes is as terrible as the myth accompanying them. And should the tiny mean bloodsuckers make it into your bedroom any given evening, you can say bye bye to any actual REM sleep. In this article, we will discuss mosquito borne diseases and methods to control a mosquito infestation.
According to the American Mosquito Control Association:
Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism -- over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. These include dog heartworm, West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). In addition, mosquito bites can cause severe skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the mosquito's saliva - this is what causes the red bump and itching. Mosquito vectored diseases include protozoan diseases, i.e., malaria, filarial diseases such as dog heartworm, and viruses such as dengue, encephalitis and yellow fever.
A mosquito has four life stages; egg, larva, pupae and adult. The first three of the mosquito’s life cycles occur in water. The adult stage, you already know about. Mosquitoes need water or damp marsh like areas to hatch from their eggs. Therefore it stands to reason, that in order to stop mosquitoes in your habitat, you need to limit their access to standing water.
The female mosquito lays her eggs on the water and they hatch in one to three days or remain dormant until they are flooded.
In order to survive, the larvae or "wigglers" that hatch must live in water. This stage lasts from five days to several weeks.
The larvae transform into pupae or "tumblers." During this stage, they do not feed but still move around while breathing. The adult mosquito is developing and will emerge in two to three days. Mosquitoes will over winter in either the egg stage or as adults.
Use the following guidelines to minimize your exposure to infected mosquitoes:
- Reduce breeding sites for the mosquito: The mosquito needs water to lay it’s larvae, so make certain that they is NO, nunca, nada, standing water anywhere in your area.
- Wear mosquito repellant:Use an EPA recommended mosquito repellant for you and your family.
- Avoid being outdoors at dusk/dawn:which are mosquito high activity times and wear dark clothing and long sleeves if you are.
- Check and double check screen and cracks around your home:Make sure that the mosquitoes cannot gain access to you in your home by installing good screens and using weather stripping to seal doors ways.
- Treat standing water with products containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, var. israelensis
If you have used all of the above tactics and continue to have a serious mosquito problem, consider using a regular regimen of mosquito targeting insecticides or a mosquito misting system, which allows for an automatic misting of mosquito insecticides on a scheduled basis.