Mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest animal world-wide. Over 1 million people die around the world each year from mosquito related diseases. This pest is capable of transmitting many harmful diseases such as Malaria, West Nile Virus, and Yellow Fever. Review the information below to better understand their behavior and maybe prevent a few bites and unwanted disease.

Male vs. Female

Mosquitoes

A female mosquito is more dominant and durable than a male. They are the only gender that will bite a host. Males do not sting, nor will do any harm. A male will live on average of 5-14 days. A female’s lifespan will double that of their counterpart. How can you identify a mosquito that is capable of stinging? Observe the insect, if you see bushy antennas, that will indicate it is a male and will not sting. Why do females sting? The stinging process is vital in the mosquito reproduction process. After stinging a host, the female will acquire the iron and protein needed to form and lay eggs.

How do these little vampires choose their prey?

A mosquito will find their target in a few ways. Carbon dioxide detection is a common way a mosquito will find their victim. When we exhale carbon dioxide, the pest will sense it like a radar. Everyone exhales various amounts of this gas. The larger someone is, the more CO2 they are likely to expel. Pregnant women and individuals with a high metabolism are at a higher risk for bites. The heaviest breather outside will most likely be the prize for mosquitoes.

This pest will also sense a potential victim by smell and body heat. Mosquitoes could sense chemicals coming from our skin and breath. The most common chemicals sensed are lactic acid (from excessive movement), estrogen (breath), and acetone (fatty acids from food). What does this mean? When someone is exercising or playing sports outside, they are a prime target when compared to someone sitting stationary on a lawn chair. When our body creates heat from exercise, we perspire and release chemicals which act as a magnet for mosquitoes.

Are mosquitoes picky?

They display a picky and somewhat patient demeanor as they approach us. This is why we often feel them lurking a bit before they dive in for the attack. We know they’re around because we hear them buzzing sometimes before they bite. During this time, they are sensing the best target to zero in on. They are looking for a blood enriched spot close to the skin’s surface. Usually this preference will direct them to a thin skinned area such as our ear, neck, elbow, wrist, or ankle.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

When mosquitoes are stinging us, an anticoagulant is released into our blood. This substance stops blood from clotting as they withdraw blood from the host. Our immune system will then be triggered to produce histamine to attack the foreign substance which was deposited by the pest. When these substances interact, swelling will occur and a red bump will appear. Then, we will be drawn to itch the irritated bite area.

Minimizing risk

The most active time for most mosquito species will be from dusk till dawn. Be sure to apply repellent if you are going to active outside at this time. Wear long sleeves and pants if possible to minimize exposure areas. Fans are a great idea to incorporate in your outdoor activities if possible. Wind will create another obstacle for mosquitoes to overcome. A strong draft will affect their flight pattern and make them work much harder to reach us.

Eliminate mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard

Eliminate mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard

Mosquitoes favorite resource is water. Females will lay eggs to areas which have water. From this moisture enriched environment, mosquitoes flourish and develop. Start with the outdoor process by checking your gutters for standing water. If gutters are not draining, be sure to clean them and flush out all debris. Walk around your property and eliminate areas that can store water such as kids toys, bird baths, flower pots and vases, cans, bottles, and rain barrels.

Are you seeing mosquitoes in your home?

If you are seeing these pests in your home or dwelling, perform this inspection. Check all window screens first. Make sure there are no gaps between the edge of the screen and window opening. Then, inspect the actual material make-up of the screen. Ensure there are no tears, rips or gouges on the surface of the screen. If so, repair damaged screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Next, scan inside your home for standing water. This means check under all sinks to ensure there are no leaks.

Remember this about mosquitoes: Quick tip outline

  • Males vs. Females
  • Males live on average of 5-14 days
  • Females on average will double the lifespan of a male
  • Only females will sting
  • Identification: Non-bushy antenna indicates a possible stinging female
  • Females sting to acquire the iron and protein needed to form and lay eggs

Are mosquitoes picky?

  • They are patient as they lurk for their best target on ones body
  • We will hear them buzzing around sometimes as they analyze their target
  • A thin skinned, blood enriched area such as elbow, ankle, ear, neck, or wrist are among favorite targets

Mosquitoes are attracted to us…

  • The more we breathe… The more carbon dioxide we expel… The higher we are at risk for bites
  • High risk people include: Large, pregnant, and people with a high metabolic rate
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to people being active outside who are perspiring
  • By the chemicals released from our bodies

Minimizing mosquito risk

Minimizing mosquito risk

  • The most dangerous time for bites (most species) occur between dusk and dawn
  • Wear long sleeve & athletic pants to lower exposure points if possible
  • Apply bug repellant
  • Incorporate a fan outside if possible to deter their mobility

Why do we itch from mosquito bites?

  • The interaction of the anticoagulant deposited by the pest and our immune system responds by releasing histamine which will cause skin irritation

Eliminate mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard

  • Check gutters for standing water and debris
  • Inspect property for items which are storing water, such as bird baths, flower pots, tires, kids toys, etc.

Are you seeing mosquitoes in your home?

  • Check window screens for gaps and holes
  • Inspect inside the home for standing water (under sinks)

Controversy surrounding mosquitoes: Believe it or Not

  • Garlic is a natural repellent to mosquitoes
  • Blood type O will attract more mosquitoes than the other blood types
  • Drinking beer outside creates an attraction for mosquitoes.
  • Alexander the Great died from a disease transmitted by mosquitoes

 

Best regards,

Dave McCracken

A.N.T. Pest Control

For more information relating to Mosquitoes please refer to these sources:

Mother Nature Network
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-mosquitoes#ixzz3hK2c2jly

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/stopmosquitoes/index.html

Illinois Department of Public Health
http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbmosquito.htm

 

A.N.T. Pest Control  New Lenox is a licensed, certified and insured company. We serve New Lenox, Manhattan, Joliet, Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park, Orland Park and the surrounding suburbs.

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1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451

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