Scientific Name: Culicidae
Lifespan: Between 10 and 100 days
Problem: Itchy bites, rapid breeding.
Mosquitoes (Culicidae) are best known for their relentless biting. Mosquito bites itch like crazy and can be vectors of dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus, various forms of encephalitis or brain inflammation, malaria, and yellow fever.
Only female mosquitos bite. Mosquitos also breed very quickly, and after a little rain your lawn can be swarming with mosquitos. Even though very few mosquitos carry disease, a mosquito infestation usually means numerous bites, often with very powerful itching, and that makes mosquitos one of the most common pests for pest control companies.
The Mosquito Life Cycle
- Eggs – Once a female mosquito has the blood protein she needs to lay her eggs, she will lay hundreds of eggs at a time up to 3 times in her life. Mosquito eggs start out white and become black, and are always laid in standing water, wherever the female mosquito can find it.
- Juveniles – Juvenile mosquitoes grow to adulthood within the standing water they were born in. The larvae, small, squirmy and worm-like, feed on bacteria in the water, and sometimes on other mosquito larvae. If they are deprived of water, they cannot grow to adulthood. The warmer the water, the faster the mosquitoes will grow.
- Mature Bugs – Mature mosquitoes are familiar to most people. They are tiny, midge-like insects that can “bite” or sting multiple times. Only female mosquitoes will bite mammals, while male mosquitoes stick to consuming plant juices.
Mosquito Habitats and Habits
Mosquitoes prefer humidity and warmth, and can only live and breed in places that provide them with standing water in which to lay their eggs. These places include birdbaths, ponds, puddles and any other place that rainwater collects.
A single female mosquito bites for about 1 hour per day. Her eggs can remain dormant in standing water for up to five years if conditions are not suitable for their development.
How to Recognize and Get Rid of Mosquito Infestations
Many people actually feel mosquito bites when they happen. They’re not painful, but your nerves notice the bite. Not all mosquito bites are felt, however. If you find that you have surprising itchy bumps, especially with a white and raised center, you may have been bitten by a mosquito.
In order to get rid of mosquitos, it’s important to remove any and all standing water, since mosquitos will not spend time around areas without standing water. You may also want to avoid watering your lawn, although the benefits are short lived and your lawn may suffer. If removing standing water doesn’t work, you may need to seek special mosquito treatments.