In honor of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we’re here with five lesser-known facts about these resilient and surprisingly complex insects. If this doesn’t sound like your party, just remember that knowing your enemy is the first step toward a mosquito-free backyard. We’ll also detail many ways you can take action to help protect yourself and your family this season.
Clocking in at a sleepy 1.5 miles per hour, these chill bloodsuckers can be outrun, but like zombies, they tend to catch up with you through sheer persistence. Nature has been kind to mosquitoes, equipping them so well they’ve outlived the dinosaurs and made themselves the unwanted summer guests of homeowners everywhere.
Only females bite. Why? Because they need bloodmeals to produce eggs. Blood stimulates the hormones they need to create egg cells. Otherwise, mosquitoes are vegetarians. They can do just fine nutritionally on diets of nectar and juice from fruits.
Bites itch because of mosquito saliva. Mosquitoes use a proboscis to penetrate the skin and suck blood. As tends to happen during any good meal, mosquitoes drool. (Who can fault them?) That itchy, red bump is your body’s reaction to proteins in their saliva. Your body treats it like an allergic reaction, and histamines cause the skin to rise and swell. Another fun fact: The saliva actually acts as an anticoagulant, ensuring a steady stream of blood.
Mosquitoes have a complex system for seeking human hosts. Carbon dioxide, which we release when we exhale, is one important way mosquitoes locate us. But don’t think that holding your breath all summer will spare you. Mosquitoes also have a receptor that detects skin odors and the lactic acid of perspiration. Scientists continue to understand the nuanced detection system that mosquitoes use to find their hosts. Didn’t know mosquitoes were so sophisticated, did you?
They can survive the cold of winter through diapause. Think of this like hibernation for insects. Simply put, diapause is a process where an organism can become dormant and even hit the pause button on its development so it can survive unfavorable conditions – like the fatal winter cold. Certain mosquito species can diapause as larvae, adults, and even eggs.
Mosquitoes are among the most dangerous creatures on the planet – More deaths are reported stemming from mosquito bites than from any other animal globally. As you probably know, they transmit dangerous diseases, such as Zika, malaria, and dengue.When you’re bitten, you may be exposed topathogens from a previous host. Diseases enter your system through the saliva of the mosquito. While rates of malaria are rare in the United States, the global toll of this mosquito-borne disease is extraordinary: 2 to 3 million people die of malaria yearly. Across the country, officials are keeping an eye on West Nile virus levels. Last year, cases were reported across ten states.
How You Can Get Rid of Mosquitoes
First things first. Mosquitoes need water to start their lifecycle. Eliminate any standing water from your yard area. Any object that can catch and hold shallow water, whether it’s lawn furniture, a lidless supply bucket, or your toddler’s toys, is an ideal location for mama mosquito to nest her eggs. And make sure you clean your gutters regularly because leaf build-up can pool water and create an excellent nest area too.
A spraying service like Mosquito Shield will treat your backyard throughout the entire season, helping to make sure your space is protected for the long haul, according to unique current conditions and population levels. Mosquito Shield can help you take back your space and prevent future mosquitoes, so you can enjoy everything you love about being outdoors with true peace of mind.