Understanding Mosquito Behavior: Insights Into Why They Bite
Have you ever tried putting torches, candles, or coils in your yard? Have you ever stood close to a fire so the smoke could keep mosquitoes away? Have you planted vegetation that is known to repel mosquitoes? If you've done any of these things, you may know that they don't stop mosquitoes from biting you. They only offer partial protection because mosquitoes in Toccoa go around the bad smells and find a way to land on you.
Have you ever put mosquito repellent on your body and still had mosquitoes bite you? It is baffling if you don't know why mosquitoes want to bite you. It is a common perception that mosquitoes feed on blood and that they're just looking for a meal. If you were just one of several meals, a mosquito would likely pass on a meal covered in bug dope. Unfortunately, mosquitoes don't bite you for daily sustenance. Only female mosquitoes bite, and they draw a blood meal so they can lay eggs. If they don't get a blood meal, they can't reproduce. So, you could say their biological clocks are ticking. When female mosquitoes swarm around you, they are desperate to get an essential meal for the survival of their offspring. They aren't going to let a bad smell deter them.
What do mosquitoes eat if not blood? Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar, just like bees. They also use their needle-like mouth parts to suck the sap out of plants, in the same way females draw blood out of your skin. A yard that has lots of vegetation is a perfect environment for mosquitoes.
Does repellent work at all? Yes. Mosquito repellent is somewhat effective at preventing bites. What it does mostly is prevent mosquitoes from smelling you. Mosquitoes can smell you from as much as 65 yards away. Repellent masks the scent. It also prevents them from using other senses to determine that you are an appropriate meal. But, a desperate female mosquito isn't easily tricked.
What do mosquitoes do after they get a blood meal? A female mosquito will lay up to 100 eggs at a time. When those eggs hatch on your property, only a portion of the mosquitoes are female, but even half that number is enough to create a swarm.
Since only female mosquitoes draw a blood meal and are not easily deterred by repellents, how do you prevent the swarm of mosquitoes from biting you while you're out in your yard? The secret is to steer away from using things that promise to repel mosquitoes from your yard. It is far better to focus on those 100 eggs. If you make it harder for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs, you'll reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property. That is the best way to avoid bites and prevent sickness associated with mosquitoes. Speaking of sickness, let's take a quick look at how mosquitoes spread viruses and warning signs to watch for that could indicate a mosquito-borne disease.
Health Risks Of Mosquito Bites: Warning Signs To Watch For
There are many diseases spread by mosquitoes. We're sure you are aware. But, what you might not know is that many dangerous viruses are not found locally in the United States. For example, malaria and Zika virus only spread during outbreaks. If you watch the news, you can stay up to date on outbreaks. But, the rest of the time, you'll watch for localized viruses. Here is a quick list of diseases spread by mosquitoes in the United States each year. These diseases are found in local animal populations.
- West Nile virus (WNV) (a disease that causes encephalitis)
- Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV) (another disease that can lead to encephalitis)
- La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC)
- Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
- St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
Did you see a theme? All of the common diseases spread by mosquitoes in the United States each year through contact with diseases found in local animal populations cause encephalitis. If you're not familiar with the term, encephalitis is brain swelling. If you feel sick and have a headache, keep in the forefront of your mind that you may have a mosquito-borne disease. If symptoms worsen, don't take any chances and seek medical attention.
Mosquito Bite Prevention: How To Protect Yourself From Bites
When Toccoa residents ask about mosquito control, what they often want to know is how to repel mosquitoes. But, in light of the health concerns and the ineffectiveness of all repellent products, we don't recommend the use of repellents to guard against mosquitoes in your yard. If you're going out into the woods to camp or have a picnic, you may benefit from the partial protection repellents offer, but there is a far better way to avoid mosquito bites in your yard. We touched on it already. The secret is to target mosquito breeding sites. Here are a few specific tips to help you make it harder for mosquitoes to reproduce on your property.
- Remove objects that capture rainwater. Most mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Simply remove the water sources, and you'll deter mosquito breeding.
- Pour stagnant water out. If you find little wriggling worms in a container of water, you've found yourself a mosquito infestation. Those wrigglers will grow into adults and take to the air. You can prevent this by pouring them out on the ground so that they will dry out in the sun.
- Install a circulation pump. If you have a bird bath, pond, or some other water source, you can deter mosquitoes by getting the water moving.
- Address damp conditions. Some mosquitoes breed on damp organic matter. Cleaning gutters and removing leaves can prevent these mosquitoes from finding suitable breeding sites.
Do you see how it works? When a female mosquito flies into your yard, happens upon you, and bites you, it is annoying. But, when that one mosquito creates a hundred mosquitoes in your yard, it is really going to annoy you. Address the conditions that provide stagnant water or damp organic material, and you'll have fewer mosquitoes. If you do this, you'll have quite a bit of mosquito control. But there is a way to get even more.
Say Goodbye To Mosquito Bites Around Your Yard: Call Us Today!
Removing mosquito breeding sites can have a big impact, but what is the best way to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard? The solution is professional mosquito control for your yard. When you contact American Pest Control for mosquito management in Toccoa, you bring your mosquito control to the next level.
- Mosquitoes breed in unexpected places and only need an inch of stagnant water. Your licensed pest control technician inspects your yard and alerts you to potential breeding sites.
- Along with alerting you, your universal technician can also apply larvicide to prevent mosquitoes from developing into flying pests.
- Once breeding sites are addressed, your universal technician can treat bushes, tall grass, shrubs, tree lines, and other key areas where mosquitoes rest. In these locations, adult mosquitoes are eliminated. It is like pushing a reset button. One day you have mosquitoes; the next day you don't.
When you contact American Pest Control for a mosquito control treatment in Toccoa, you immediately say goodbye to mosquitoes, which is great when preparing your property for an important outdoor event, like a graduation, anniversary, or family reunion. If you want to keep mosquitoes away all year long, we can help with that too, by providing monthly treatments to continually deter mosquito reproduction and control mosquito populations. The treatments we provide also give you protection from ticks, which spread Lyme disease and other diseases.
Contact us today to learn more about mosquito and tick services for your property or to get information about residential pest control. You can also jump over to our residential pest control page to get some quick facts about our Five Star Protection Plan. We service Toccoa and the surrounding area, providing industry-leading control solutions for all of the pests that pester you. We're here to help you take your backyard back and make it a nicer place to relax during the summer months.