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PEST FACTS

Amazing mosquito facts

You're more likely to be a target for mosquitoes if you consume bananas. Biting activity increase by 500 times when there is a full moon. A mosquito's wings beat 500 times a second.
The animal responsible for the most human deaths world-wide is the mosquito.
Mosquitoes dislike citronella because it irritates their feet.

Mosquitoes prefer children to adults, and blondes to brunettes.
A mosquito can detect a moving target at 18 ft away

The average life span of a female mosquito is 3 to 100 days. the male lives 10 to 20 days.
Mosquitoes: lay up to 300 eggs at a time, fly across 150 miles in their lifetime, range from sea level to altitudes as high as 10,800 feet (3,600 meters), develop from egg to adulthood in 4 to 7 days

Only female mosquitoes bite; using proteins from a blood meal to produce eggs. Most species can produce several batches of eggs during their lifetime.

The mosquito's visual picture, produced by various parts of its body, is an infrared view produced by its prey's body temperature.

The average life span of the female mosquito is 3 to 100 days; the male's is 10 to 20 days.

Depending on species, female mosquitoes may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 during their lifespan.

Adults can live for several weeks, feeding on carbohydrate sources such as nectar and fruit juices.

Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases kill more people than any other single factor. In the United States, mosquitoes vector (spread) several types of encephalitis, dog heartworm, and malaria.

The larval and pupil stages can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats including: discarded containers, tires, temporary woodland pools, tree and crab holes, salt marshes, and irrigation ditches.

Most mosquitoes remain within 1 mile of their breeding site. A few species may range up to 20 miles or more.

There are over 170 described species of mosquitoes from North America. Several species have been accidentally introduced from other parts of the world.

Depending on temperature, mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in as little as 4-7 days.

Presently, the cues used by mosquitoes to find their hosts are poorly understood. Carbon dioxide (Co2), heat, octenol and light have been shown to be attractants. Other compounds tested such as lactic acid also have proved to attract certain species of biting insects.

The larvae are filter feeders of organic particulates.

Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can be annoying, may bite and are capable of spreading harmful diseases such as malaria, encephalitis and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes have long slender bodies with narrow wings and long legs. Female mosquitoes are well adapted to piercing your skin and sucking blood.

A thorough survey of the site is necessary to determine the potential for mosquitoes to breed or to locate resting sites. Three questions must be considered when surveys are conducted. Are there structural problems that are conducive to water retention? What items are present which have the ability to retain water? Does the environment provide potential breeding sites or shaded resting areas for adult mosquitoes?

Look for structural elements such as flat roofs, blocked or poorly drained rain gutters and downspouts, drainage lines from air conditioning units, low decks, open crawl spaces, unscreened vents or detached storage sheds that have a potential to provide breeding or resting sites for mosquitoes. While inspecting, make note of any container that is holding, or has a potential to hold water. Remember, it could be as small as a bottle cap or as large as a boat or swimming pool Also note any areas in the environment such as ditches or depressions, tree holes, heavy weeds or shrubs, plants, ponds or wooded areas that provide potential for standing water or shaded resting sites for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes take about seven days to complete their life cycle. The first three stages in this cycle are aquatic. Therefore, the best way to prevent mosquito breeding is to remove stagnant water. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

One method is to physically remove the item that has potential to hold stagnant water. Dispose of containers such as bottles, jars, pails, etc., in a covered receptacle. Get rid of old tires. Empty water from items such as garbage cans, pails, garden implements, etc. and cover these items with lids or invert them to drain. Change water in birdbaths, pet dishes, flowerpots and urns, etc. on a weekly basis (remember the seven day mosquito life cycle). Small wading pools, toys, etc. should be emptied and stored after each use to prevent water from collecting or becoming stagnant.

A second method is the mechanical alteration of (potential) water-containing items to prevent them from retaining water. This might be as simple as opening a drain plug in the bottom of a boat, drilling a small drain hole in the bottom of a tire swing or a barbeque grill, or some other physical method to prevent water from standing in a container.

When it is not possible to drain or otherwise remove a standing water source, the placement of a larvacide into the water or into an area where water collects and stands after a rain may control some mosquitoes before they emerge.

Cultural methods may be utilized to reduce the potential sources of mosquito breeding or to eliminate potential resting sites that will attract adult mosquitoes. Cultural methods include proper mowing, drainage and mechanical alteration of these potential sites.

Proper mowing and trimming techniques reduce the resource areas required by mosquitoes for resting sites. Therefore, less treatment will be required to control the adult mosquitoes. Ditches can be drained or culverts installed to move water away from the site to be protected. Low spots can be filled in to prevent standing water. Water holding plants, such as bromeliads, should be planted in pots that can be turned upside down to drain water from the plants as needed.

Fine mesh screens can be installed to prevent mosquito entry into crawl spaces, under decks or around covered patios or other areas where they may rest. Rain gutters can be cleaned and repaired so that all water flows freely into and out of the downspouts without collecting in the gutters. Mechanical alterations can prevent water from standing in areas such as tarps (boat covers, pool covers, etc.) by simply increasing the slope above such items to allow for water runoff. Standing water in small ponds or pools can be helped by using pumps and filters to prevent stagnation. Other repairs that stop water from standing in one spot are beneficial to mosquito reduction.

A proper treatment regimen is important for the control of mosquitoes after source reduction efforts and cultural control practices are utilized. Treatment methods include the use of larvacides to prevent adult mosquitoes from emerging and the use of adulticides to knock down adult populations and establish barriers for ongoing mosquito reduction.

During the larval and pupal stages, the developing mosquitoes are confined to their watery site until they emerge as adults. The application of a larvacide product to the water site during this period of development may result in large numbers of larvae being controlled before the adult mosquito is free to fly off.

Potential treatment areas for mosquito larvacides include birdbaths, urns, tree holes, old tires, rain barrels, water gardens, flower pots, roof gutters, pool covers, ornamental fountains, abandoned swimming pools or other water holding receptacles. When used as directed, larvacides will not adversely affect humans, animals, fish or vegetation. Mosquito larvacides are also used to treat larger areas such as ponds, lakes and ditches that contain large volumes of water.

Adult mosquitoes can fly freely to any non-protected place. Ultra Low Volume (ULV) treatments can be rendered to quickly reduce adult populations of mosquitoes in limited areas for short periods of time. Barrier treatments with residual products provide longer lasting controls to areas where mosquitoes hide and rest.

ULV treatments are helpful in circumstances warranting quick knock down for short time periods, such as before parties, weddings, picnics and other special occasions. Timing of the applications is critical to the success of the program (night flyers vs. day flyers).

ULV treatments place an extremely fine aerosol in the air, which floats with the breeze to contact and knock down adult mosquitoes. "Fogging" in this manner is an excellent way to clear a large area of adult mosquitoes because the aerosol floats into almost every nook and cranny. However, once the aerosol has floated through the area, there is no longer any control left. How long this control lasts - a few hours to a few days - depends on several factors, including knowledge of how, when, where and why to apply the product, climatic conditions and other parameters which may not be able to be directly controlled by the applicator.

Barrier control is one of the more effective and longer lasting methods of mosquito reduction. It readily lends itself to large areas or to small back yards. Years ago it was discovered that by applying a perimeter strip of barrier protection, mosquitoes (while capable of flying over the barrier strip) resisted the treated area within the barrier. This proved extremely effective in areas like home yards.

Barrier controls are applied as a light mist with a sprayer - preferably one with a high-volume air blast to push the product into the foliage and other difficult to reach spots. The light mist is applied to grass, shrubbery, foliage, under shaded areas such as storage sheds and decks, around animal shelters, etc.

Mosquito treatments can reduce the potential exposure to mosquito bites and help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses.

Q: How many species of mosquitoes are there?
A: About 2,700.

Q: What does a mosquito weigh?
A: About 2 to 2.5 milligrams (for an Aedes aegypti).

Q: How much blood does a female mosquito drink per, er, serving?
A: About 5-millionths of a liter (for an Aedes aegypti).

Q: How do mosquitoes find new hosts?
A: By sight (they observe movement); by detecting infra-red radiation emitted by warm bodies; and by chemical signals (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, among other chemicals).

Q: How fast can a mosquito fly?
A: An estimated 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.

Q: How far do certain mosquitoes fly
A: Salt marsh mosquitoes migrate 75 to 100 miles.

Q: How far away can a mosquito smell you, or a cow or another host?
A: 20 to 35 meters.

Q: Why does a film of ...


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