There are few insects – or even animals in general – that are as reviled as mosquitoes. Whereas other commonly disliked animals such as snakes, spiders, and rats often have advocates for them (and, in fact, there are individuals who keep all three as pets) mosquitoes are almost universally disliked as a nuisance at best, and a serious health hazard at worst.
Even in the best of circumstances, where there are no life-threatening illnesses involved, the presence of mosquitoes can very easily make a situation uncomfortable, and can quickly bring down the mood of any social gathering.
Limiting – or completely removing – mosquitoes from a location, is an involved process that takes quite a bit of effort, but more importantly requires an understanding of how mosquitoes work and the ways that they reproduce.
At Fischer, we get many questions about mosquitoes from our clients so here is an overview of mosquito nesting habits and how you can remove their habitats from your home, workplace, or recreational area.
Where do mosquitoes live and breed?
Mosquitoes are incredibly hardy insects, and they can survive in a lot of different climates. However, they prefer temperatures of 70 degrees or higher, and most types of mosquitoes require water for their life cycles (more on that later).
As any resident of south Louisiana knows, it’s common to find mosquitoes living in forests, marshes, tall grasses, weeds, and ground that is wet for at least part of the year.
Although these are their preferred environments, it’s a mistake to think that they are the only ones that mosquitoes can thrive in – although infestations are obviously more common in humid, tropical locations, there have been reports of mosquitoes surviving in places like the Arctic Circle.
Understanding mosquitoes and water
Understanding the relationship between mosquitoes and water is critical to removing them. There are, in general, two kinds of mosquitoes. The first are called permanent water mosquitoes.
They lay their eggs in clumps of 50 to 300 called rafts on the surface of standing water such as the edges of lakes or ponds, or even in semi-permanent containers, such as buckets, pools, or anything else that can collect and hold water.
The other type of mosquitoes are called floodwater mosquitoes. These lay their eggs in moist soil during a wet season of the year. During the dry season, the eggs dry out and lie dormant until flooding or rainwater dampens the soil and activates the eggs.
In both cases, mosquitoes breeding and living habits are very defined by the kind of water they use to lay their eggs in.
Dangers from mosquitoes
As mentioned previously, mosquitoes can and do carry several very dangerous diseases. The most famous of these is malaria, a semi-tropical blood-borne illness that was deadly until doctors discovered that it was spread by mosquitoes in tropical areas and advised anti-mosquito measures for people living there.
Other diseases are also spread by mosquitoes, such as Dengue fever, Encephalitis, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, and yellow fever. These diseases kill or debilitate millions of people worldwide and hinder economic endeavors by inhibiting recreational and work environments.
Treatment of mosquito habitats
The first step of treating mosquito habitats is to kill the existing adult mosquitoes so that they can’t lay any more eggs. This can be done with traps like flypaper, or with sprays.
The next step is to treat breeding sites (generally with chemicals) in order to prevent them from breeding more.
This process sometimes involves a lot of equipment and dangerous substances, so it’s best to let a knowledgeable, professional service to do it for you. Fischer Environmental has been treating the outdoor areas of South Louisiana homeowners for years, so contact us today for your free inspection!
Filed in: Mosquito Control