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JULY 28 2022 / LANDSCAPE
There are around 200 species of mosquitoes in the U.S., of which a dozen are vectors of disease pathogens that can be transmitted to humans. In fact, they are responsible for more human deaths worldwide than any other animal. Fortunately, because of good pest control, cultural practices, and greater awareness, the U.S. has far fewer mosquito-borne diseases than other parts of the world. Sometimes they are just a nuisance, other times a serious health threat that could be lurking one bite away!
Some mosquitoes will overwinter in sheltered areas and lay eggs on the water’s surface, others will deposit eggs in containers just above the water line. Still, others lay eggs in the soil of flood-prone locations waiting for spring rains. Interestingly, some mosquito eggs can lay dormant for years, waiting for floods.
But the eggs always hatch in water. Mosquitoes go through four stages of development and only leave the water in the adult stage. Larvae emerge from the eggs and feed on organic material and microorganisms in the water. They develop to the pupae stage and, after a brief rest, completely change form and emerge as adults. In warm water, some species can go from egg to adult in just over a week.
Adults will emerge and stand on top of the water for a short time while their bodies harden and their wings dry. Next, they look for a nectar meal; a blooming flower gives them the carbohydrates they need to fuel their flight muscles.
Females again take flight to look for a blood meal. That blood meal gives them the protein necessary for egg production, and they look for a suitable larval habitat to lay their eggs. The cycle repeats over and over every season!
Homeowners can take back their yards:
Remember mosquitoes can enter your yard from storm drains, swampy areas in the woods, and your neighbor’s yard. Salt marsh mosquitoes will fly miles from their larval habitats. Mosquitoes like to rest in cool, dark, moist areas out of the wind. Bushes, shrubs, low-hanging tree branches, under decks, and other protected areas around the home are perfect.
JP McHale can help you identify the larval habitats in your yard and reduce the number of mosquitoes with a barrier treatment. Let a JP McHale specialist devise a plan to deal with all the resting spots around your home.
Let us help you take back your yard!
About the Author: Greg Ten Hoeve is the Technical Director of Safety at JP McHale. He has been in the pest management industry for 43 years and is in charge of the day-to-day safety operations for the fleet and personnel. Greg is also responsible for technical training, technical services, and regulatory issues.