Mosquito biting skin

Mosquitoes

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House Mosquito

House Mosquito

Color

Mostly plain light brown with no distinctive markings. The female has a pale whitish dorsal band at the base of each abdominal segment.

Characteristics

There are more than 3,000 varieties of mosquito. All are terribly annoying.

Where Found

Throughout the U.S. and southern Canada.

Habitat

Larvae develop in standing water. Around urban and suburban homes, small containers such as bird baths, barrels, wading pools, etc., anything that traps water is a great nursery for larvae. Adults occur in these areas, with females being quite the partiers, taking blood meals from dusk until dawn, and sometimes entering homes in the fall in search of a sheltered place to overwinter.

Food

Adults usually take blood from birds but may also feed on mammals. A blood meal is usually required for the development of eggs, but some populations are able to develop eggs without it.

Damage

The northern house mosquito is the most important vector of West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis in the northern United States and southern Canada.

The southern house mosquito is a major domestic pest in many urban areas, particularly as indicated by indoor biting. It carries several diseases, including Murray Valley encephalitis, dog heartworm and fowl pox.

Good Riddance

Eliminate standing water; even small plant saucers can support a mosquito population. Clean out roof gutters of debris that trap and hold water. A fly swatter works equally well on both the northern and southern house mosquito.