What are mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes have slender bodies, antennae, long legs, and like other flies, only two wings. Female mosquitoes are biting, blood-feeding pests that require blood meals to create viable eggs. They feed on a variety of animal hosts, including people, birds, livestock, and wildlife. Mosquitoes are prolific breeders that thrive in warm, humid weather and live in large populations across the Southern United States.
Aedes "Tiger" Mosquitoes
Aedes "tiger" mosquitoes are floodwater mosquitoes. The females prefer to lay their eggs in damp soil where flooding occurs or inside containers that collect rainwater. They are survivors and challenging to control. Their eggs dry out during periods of dry weather, but they hatch as soon as the ground becomes saturated with water. Aedes "tiger" mosquitoes have a dark brown to black abdomen with white scales on their thorax that form a violin-like pattern. Their hind legs have white banding around each of the tarsal segments. These mosquitoes feed throughout the day and night and are known for inflicting painful bites.
Female Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs on the water's surface, preferring clean water, not stagnant water. They often choose to lay their eggs in water in marshes, swamps, ponds, and slow-flowing rivers. Anopheles mosquitoes prefer to feed at dusk and dawn and are identified by their dark brown or black color. These mosquitoes can carry and spread malaria.
Culex mosquitoes have gray bodies with white, silver, green or iridescent blue scales. After female Culex mosquitoes have a blood meal, they lay their eggs in rafts on the surface of standing water in either man-made or natural containers. The adults don't usually travel too far from where they hatch. They are known as aggressive biters and feed from dusk until after dark. Culex mosquitoes are a leading carrier of the West Nile virus.
How do mosquitoes gain access?
Mosquitoes can travel between one and two miles in search of food. If you live near an area with large numbers of mosquitoes, your property will also experience problems with them. Another reason that mosquitoes may be on your property and overstaying their welcome is that it has ample breeding sites.
After mosquitoes hatch, most will stay close by, breeding and feeding and increasing their populations. Mosquitoes often move inside through open windows and doors with the help of a strong breeze. Once inside, they move throughout your home, searching for food, and you'll find them in kitchen areas hovering around food like fruits and other sweets.
Where do mosquitoes hide?
Most of the time, you'll find mosquitoes around their breeding sites: areas of standing water. Listed below are some common places you'll often find mosquitoes breeding.
- Open trash cans, recycling bins, or compost bins
- Old tires or construction debris
- Clogged gutters
- Containers like buckets, flowerpots, wading pools
- Unmaintained swimming pools
- Ditches and low lying areas
- Tree cavities, tree stumps, or brush piles
- Marshes, swamps, lakes, ponds
During the day, mosquitoes swarm in groups in shady areas, trying to escape the heat. They also like to hide in tall grass and overgrown landscaping.
What are the signs of mosquitoes?
You will most likely hear mosquitoes before you see them. As they fly, their wings create an annoying buzzing sound. If mosquitoes are on your property, you will also see swarms of them. They are typically around areas of standing water and flowering vegetation. Males and females both feed on plant nectar and other sweet liquids as their primary food source.
If you have standing water on your property, mosquitoes will take advantage of it. Mosquito larvae are called wrigglers, and if mosquitoes are breeding on your property, you will see the larvae wriggling around in areas of standing water.
Sometimes you won't notice when a mosquito bites you; this is especially true at night while you are sleeping. Waking up with itchy mosquito bites is an indicator that there is an opening in your home's exterior that is allowing them access inside.
How can I prevent mosquitoes in the future?
Mosquitoes are extremely difficult to control. The best solution is partnering with a professional that will implement a regular mosquito control service. At Tuxedo Mosquito Control, we offer a monthly mosquito spray service, performed by our highly trained technicians to reduce the number of mosquitoes resting, breeding, and feeding on your property. We are a local, family-owned company and know how to solve mosquito problems and protect your family from bites. Call Tuxedo Mosquito Control today learn more about "Your Total Mosquito Control Solutions."
Can I get rid of mosquitoes myself?
To help you avoid large populations of mosquitoes living on your property, combine our Monthly Mosquito Spray service with the following prevention tips.
- Place secure screens in open windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Don't prop exterior doors open for long periods.
- Repair leaky pipes, clogged gutters, and dripping hoses to stop excess moisture from building up around your home.
- Prune back overgrown shrubs, bushes, trees, and other landscaping that mosquitoes use as shade.
- Keep the grass on your property cut short.
- Remove areas of standing water from your property. Keep containers upside down when not in use, maintain pools and other water features on your property, and fill in low-lying areas that collect water.