Evolving from occasional bites to voracious feeding frenzies, mosquito control professionals in Yardley and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey see large increases in service calls as soon as warm temperatures arrive.
The most common mosquitoes found in our region are the Asian Tiger mosquito (Culex pipiens) and the Northern House Mosquito (Aedes albopictus).
The basic body structure of mosquito species is similar. Each mosquito has 14 to 15 segments in their antennae and scales on veins in their wings. Their body size differs slightly, depending on stages of growth. The Asian Tiger mosquito has a black and white patterned back, six banded legs and pointed abdomen. Mosquitoes are 1/8 to 3/4 inches in size and about 2.5 mgs in weight.
Mosquitoes are found near small bodies of standing and stagnant water. They may also be found in the tall grasses near homes, businesses or other inhabited structures. Mosquitoes prefer warm, dark, damp places indoors. Outdoors they nest in rain gutters or in piles of wet, moldering leaves. They are usually found wherever small pockets of water collect.
Mosquitoes eat nectar found on plants and honeydew. They also feed on human and animal blood to provide their source of protein. Female mosquitoes rely on blood hosts to increase their egg production.
Because mosquitoes need the protein in blood to breed, they seek a blood host. Female mosquitoes have a proboscis, a part of the mouth, designed like a narrow type of syringe for drawing blood from hosts. The proboscis is inserted under the host’s skin. Mosquito bites sting slightly and the affected area may swell and turn a reddish color.
Mosquito species have different degrees of aggression. During breeding, the need for a blood host increases the determination of mosquitoes to ensure the blood supply. Mosquitoes rarely descend on a host en masse. One mosquito finds a host and soon after, other mosquitoes discover the same host.
One species of mosquito found in tropical climates is responsible for malaria deaths. Another species of mosquito found in swampy areas of the U.S. is causes Yellow Fever. The World Health Organization reports that mosquitoes account for deaths of 800,000 people worldwide, mainly from malaria.
In 2002, the U.S. Center for Disease Control reported eight deaths in the U.S. from malaria. Mosquitoes also transmit West Nile and Zika Viruses and encephalitis in humans and animals. Mosquitoes also transmit Dengue fever, heartworm, La Crosse encephalitis and Chikungunya virus in dogs and cats.
SIGNS OF A MOSQUITO INFESTATION
Mosquitoes are quite visible outdoors. They are seen in garages, barns, sheds and beneath decks and near downspouts. Indoors they may be found in basements, closets, damp, dark areas like crawl spaces or wherever clothing is hung.
Businesses and residents can keep mosquitoes under control by following preventative measures that include:
• Keeping lawns mowed to avoid mosquitoes hiding in tall grass
• Emptying rain gutters of debris and water buildup
• Trimming leaves and branches near roofs and eaves
• Removing objects that collect water like pails, lids and tarps
• Treating and circulating pool water frequently
• Refreshing water in children's pools and birdbaths
Indoors, be sure to seal/repair gaps in windows, doors and walls. Inspect window and door screens and replace or repair if necessary.
The basic treatment for mosquitoes consists of a consultation with our trained technicians, inspections and treatment. We inspect the exterior of structures and surrounding property that are potential breeding grounds that attracts mosquitoes.
Our staff of certified technicians will administer treatment in a 100-foot radius of the exterior of the structure. Attention will also be focused on potential resting and breeding areas. These include:
• High moisture content areas
• Bushes and hedges
• Areas where constant shade is found
• Around decks and patios
• Trees in close proximity of roofs and structures