Mosquitoes are relatively common pests here in Atlanta, and if you live or work in the area, you’ve likely come across them from time to time. These small pests are known for being parasites, leaving their victims with itchy bites. However, itching isn’t the biggest problem. The more significant danger of mosquitoes is their ability to transmit vector-borne illnesses into their hosts. They’re common carriers of severe diseases like Zika virus, West Nile virus, and malaria.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s best to review the basics in order to attain a good foundation of knowledge to assist you in your future mosquito control efforts. Mosquitoes measure around 1/8 - 3/8 inches long. They vary in color from grey to black, and some species have green, blue, or white markings. They have six legs and antennae, and their long biting mouthparts are called proboscis.
Here in Georgia, three types of mosquitoes are most common in the area. Here are some basic characteristics distinguishing Atlanta’s three major mosquito species: Aedes Mosquitoes, Culex Mosquitoes, and Anopheles Mosquitoes:
1. Aedes Mosquito (Yellow fever mosquito)
- They are associated with dengue, yellow fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya.
- Noticeable black and white markings on bodies and legs.
- Narrow black bodies and females have pointed abdomens.
- Black mosquitoes with white stripes on legs and back.
- Aggressive during the day, biting both indoors and out.
- They are nicknamed ankle-biters for biting near feet.
2. Culex Mosquito (Common house mosquito)
- It is associated with West Nile virus and viral encephalitis.
- Gray/brown coloration with white, silver, green, or iridescent blue scales.
- Measures 1/4 - 3/8 inch long; the body is parallel to the resting surface.
- Narrow, ovular-shaped body with six legs and antennae.
- Most active at dawn and dusk.
- They are attracted to warm, moist environments.
3. Anopheles Mosquito (Malaria mosquito or Marsh mosquito)
- Associated with malaria and encephalitis.
- Adult females live for around one to two weeks.
- Have a slanted posture, standing at a tipped angle when biting or resting.
- Wings have a spotted coloring to them due to scales.
- Larvae lie parallel to the surface of the water.
Life Cycle Of A Mosquito
All mosquitoes undergo a similar lifecycle, consisting of four stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. Adult mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. They can lay over 100 eggs at a time, and they are usually deposited on the surface of stagnant or freshwater. Mosquito eggs look like black dirt, and they’re sticky, commonly found alongside containers of water sources where eggs were laid.
When the water levels rise, larvae emerge from the eggs once they’re exposed to water. Depending on the temperature of the water, the larvae live in the water from 4 to 14 days. Larvae then molt three times before becoming pupae, and pupae become adults a few days later. Only adult mosquitoes are capable of biting.
A typical mosquito bite looks like a red bump, swollen and enlarged at the center. Depending on ones’ allergies, the bites can become massive in size, and the site of the bite can even become infected, especially if you are scratching the bite vigorously. An infected bite will often ooze and bleed, and it will be warm to the touch. There might be pus, drainage, and excessive redness.
Mosquito Protection You Can Trust In Atlanta, GA
For the best protection from mosquitoes, we highly recommend securing ongoing pest control services from the pros. The team at Tuxedo Mosquito Control is here to bring you the best mosquito protection in Atlanta. Contact us today to discuss mosquito control options for your Atlanta property, and we’ll get started right away.