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With thousands of species around the world the humble mosquito is one of the most prolific animals on the planet. They have become infamous for being more than just annoying pests too.
It is true that mosquitoes are actually the deadliest animals on the planet. They are what are known as disease vectors, meaning that they carry dangerous pathogens that can be passed along to humans.
The Center for Disease Control has estimated that up to 1 million people die each year because of mosquito-borne disease.
That doesn't mean you have to panic. Knowledge is important and here in North America the number of mosquito illnesses is much less than other parts of the world. However, it pays to know the facts about mosquitoes and Western Exterminator Technicians are experts.
Worried you have mosquitoes? Schedule an appointment with a Western Exterminator expert by calling 800-937-8398 or using our online form.
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There is some basic information about mosquitoes that you should probably know. This includes:
Mosquitoes have a couple sets of wings - one for flying and another set known as halteres that help them control themselves while flying.
Mosquitoes are actually part of the same family as - They are part of the same scientific order as the common house fly known as Diptera.
Mosquitoes are very weak flyers - This is why if you sit on your front porch and want to avoid mosquito bites you can have a simple fan going. The wind from a fan is enough to prevent mosquitoes from approaching.
Only the female mosquito bites people - Males do not have the necessary mouthparts to pierce skin and feed. Female mosquitoes feed on blood to get protein to lay eggs.
A female mosquito can lay eggs in as little as one cup full of water - Some mosquitoes even lay and hatch eggs in puddles left behind by storms. Mosquitoes will not lay their eggs in moving water however, so adding a fountain or something that moves the water to backyard ponds can prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs there.
Mosquitoes are attracted to some people more than others - Mosquitoes find people using their sense of smell and through heat detection. They detect the carbon dioxide we exhale, as well as sweat. Some people have a more attractive smell to them, which is why you could be sitting somewhere getting bite-after-bite and your friend will have no bites.
Although a nuisance, mosquitoes are a vital part of the ecosystem - Bats, spiders and other creatures feed on the adult insects. Certain species of fish rely on feeding on mosquito larvae in the water. Mosquitoes are not as proficient at it as bees, but since they do feed on plant nectar they even help some with pollination.
There are numerous mosquito diseases for which they are vectors. However, not every mosquito carries these diseases and you may not run into them here in North America. Some of the diseases are:
West Nile Virus - an illness not seen in the U.S. until 1999. This can be a very serious illness and can even be fatal.
Encephalitis - mosquitoes are known vectors for a variety of strains of encephalitis including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Eastern Encephalitis (WEE), Louis Encephalitis (SLE) and La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC).
Heartworm - mosquitoes do not just bite humans. They look for warm blooded mammals and that can include your family dog. Heartworm can be transmitted via the bite of a mosquito and lead to pet fatalities.
Malaria - although not seen too often in the U.S. the mosquito that is known to carry this disease is the Anopheles. Sometimes these mosquitoes get transferred to the U.S. via various means.
Dengue Fever - another disease now much known in North America, but can be dangerous. Puerto Rico has had issues with Dengue Fever, for example, and it just takes one infected mosquito to cause an outbreak.
There are a number of natural and DIY mosquito treatments out there, but none of them are guaranteed.
Even citronella candles may work in part, but only where the smoke covers your body. So you might not have any bites on the upper portion of your body, but numerous bites on your legs.
The best bet, if you have a problem with mosquitoes, is to call in the professionals.
Call 800-937-8398 or fill in our online form to schedule an appointment today!
A Western Exterminator professional will provide a treatment around your property to get rid of mosquitoes and prevent their return.
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